The meaning behind Lent is not just for Christians


The Catalyst / Mia Muzzi

Annette Henderson gave up all types of dessert for Lent this year.

This year, Ash Wednesday fell on March 2nd marking the start of Lent for many Christians. In the liturgical calendar, Lent is the six weeks leading up to Easter, making it a total of 40 days long.

In the Bible, Jesus spent these same 40 days and 40 nights fasting in the desert, and Lent is a time for Christians to imitate part of what Jesus endured. It is a time of reflection, prayer and sacrifice. Many choose to give something up for Lent or set a goal to work on. Most commonly given up items include sweets, alcohol, or social media as a lot of times people tend to overindulge themselves in these things.

I personally practice Catholicism and therefore participate in Lent every year. I find it a very clarifying time, but it is also really difficult to give up something that I enjoy. When I was younger, I always tried to give up something like candy or chocolate, but since I did not really understand the meaning of Lent, I usually gave in to my cravings after a week or two. But as I have grown up, I am able to keep the promise that I made with myself and with God.

I have found that my participation in Lent makes me feel a lot closer to God and it makes my understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice a lot clearer. Being able to sacrifice something, even small, makes me feel connected to Jesus and I am able to learn more about myself as well.

Although Lent is practiced in the Christian faith, I feel that my participation in a Lenten promise has not only benefited my relationship spiritually, but has also improved my everyday life. This year, I gave up social media after 7:00 PM and I have so far felt a major difference. I feel more rested when I wake up in the morning because I have not spent hours scrolling through meaningless social media pages the previous night. Also, I have become more aware of the negative effects of social media especially on my mental health.

Through my experience this Lenten season so far, I have realized that even those who do not celebrate Lent in their religion can benefit greatly from the idea behind Lent. Making a sacrifice teaches a lot about discipline and by the end of the 40 days, one has a clearer vision about the things that they actually need in life instead of just want.

The liturgical season of Lent is one of sacrifice and reflection in honor of Jesus Christ’s time spent in the desert, and whether Chrisrtian or not, the idea behind the season can help anyone better their life.