Reflecting upon Lent

I struggle with not turning Lent into a time to start new, good habits or breaking old negative ones. Or about sacrificing things I like to do. Or about losing weight. Because when I take a hard look at all of those things, they’re about me. Not about him and his sacrifice.

I’ve only recently tried to observe Lent, and I’ve never made it through the 40 days without forgetting (or ignoring) my commitment. So this year, I’ve spent a lot of time praying about Lent and what to do. I felt like God was asking me to participate; I just didn’t know how. I didn’t want this year to be like last year . . . and the one before.

As I reflected upon what Lent means and it’s purpose, my focal point became clear. Lent is a time of cleansing and preparing for the Holy Week. An invitation to enter into the fullness of the cross: the sacrifice and the purification found there. My preparations are to honor him, remember who he is and what he has done and how he loves so perfectly.

And so my Lenten fast and preparation will reflect that theme this year: cleansing. In my actions, in my attitude, in my physical space. Ever pointing me back to the cross. To Jesus.



  1. I agree–so many times we treat Lent more like a New Year’s Resolution with a kick. But Lent is about repentance and preparation for Easter. As we move through the liturgical year, it’s the time when we enter into Christ’s 40-day fast in the wilderness as he prepared for the beginning of his ministry. It also recalls Jonah’s time in the belly of the whale, the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness for 40 years, the 40-day flood that cleansed the earth in Noah’s time.
    It strips away. It may be a time of temptation. It begs the question: “For what is God preparing us for?”
    Lent is a beautiful time. The last time we had this time of preparation and anticipation was Advent–and look how that ended!

  2. Thank you so much for writing this…

    I was thinking just this morning how Christian women (in particular) tend to use this Lenten season to focus on those things that in someway give some kickback to our self. Our flesh.

    One thing in particular that drives me insane is when we take such a holy time of the year and turn it into a diet plan.

    As I have spent the batter half of this last year really seeking to write about Truth, in particular for the True Campaign, the Lord has opened my eyes to this phenomena…not only in the lives of those around me, but in my life as well.

    I too have decided to use this Lenten season as a means to draw nearer to the Lord, to truly sit at His feet. To stop making this time of the year to give up things that really have very little relevance in my relationship with Christ. I could give up chocolate. I could give up snacking. I could make new promises to change…but the reality is that, for me, giving up these things has never brought about spiritual change. It has never seen the fruit of 40 days closer to God. It has never helped me to rejoice in the Truth of Easter: That he gave his life for a sinner like me. And now I can call Him friend…I can hardly type those words they mean so much to me.

    Anyway, I’ll step off my box now, but I wanted to thank you for being transparent. It helps me!

  3. Pingback: Lenten Pitfalls |

  4. This is so true! As a former Catholic I had not “done Lent” for many years….for a long time, it was a stumbling block for me. I have always loved the idea of Lent but was afraid it would make me fall back on man-made rules, and I can see where in the past I used it as an self-control issue rather than a focus-on-God issue. This is the first year that I have returned to the idea of Lent, and I can better appreciate its value. Thanks for your post, it really helped me sort some feelings out!

  5. spaghettipie, I haven’t been here in a while. Glad to see you still writing. Thanks for the good reflection.

    I like Heather’s description: “New Year’s Resolution with a kick.”

  6. ben

    yo – great minds think alike. after italy, before wreck, i wrote down some thoughts on lent too. and different note, just mentioned you and your hubby in a post today, for your humor and screw jokes

  7. Pingback: Reflecting upon Lent « spaghettipie

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