During the prayerful and penitential season of Lent, Catholics imitate Jesus’ 40 days in the desert through prayer, fasting, self-denial, almsgiving, and other good works.

Traditionally, Lent has also been a time for people who were converting to the Catholic faith to prepare for their Baptism at the Easter Vigil.

The liturgy during Lent is more reserved. The music at Mass is more subdued and the Gloria and the Alleluia are not sung or said.

The somber color purple of the priest’s vestments remind of Jesus pain and suffering.  In the Church, flowers and other decorations are absent and statues may be covered.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until the celebration of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection at Easter.

Lent in 3 minutes:

Every year we come back to Lent together:

Jesus’ temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to Him and the way men wish to attribute to Him. This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning.” By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 540

Going into the desert and confronting the devil:

Learning to trust and grow strong:

The Spirit immediately drove Him out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

Mark 1: 12-13

Developing a relationship with Jesus during Lent:

Not IF, but WHEN we pray, fast, and give alms:

In synthesis, the Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us “the pattern of his death”, so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives; that we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus; that we may firmly orient our existence according to the will of God; that we may be freed of our egoism, overcoming the instinct to dominate others and opening us to the love of Christ. The Lenten period is a favorable time to recognize our weakness and to accept, through a sincere inventory of our life, the renewing Grace of the Sacrament of Penance, and walk resolutely towards Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent, 2011

Lent is part of the rhythm of Christian life:

Walking with Jesus from Ash Wednesday to Easter:

Lent is more than just 40 days:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Becoming Catholic in spite of challenges:

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