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.

Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent anticipates and prepares for the commemoration of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection at Easter.

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

During Lent, the Catholic liturgy 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.

The English word “Lent” acknowledges the lengthening of the days leading up to Spring while the season is identified in other languages using words based on the number forty.

Lent in 3 minutes:

So much more than meets the eye:

Not just giving something up:

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

Every year we come back to Lent together:

Developing a relationship with Jesus during Lent:

May Lent be for every Christian a renewed experience of God’s love given to us in Christ, a love that each day we, in turn, must “re-give” to our neighbour, especially to the one who suffers most and is in need. Only in this way will we be able to participate fully in the joy of Easter. May Mary, Mother of Beautiful Love, guide us in this Lenten journey, a journey of authentic conversion to the love of Christ. I wish you, dear brothers and sisters, a fruitful Lenten journey, imparting with affection to all of you a special Apostolic Blessing.

Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent, 2007

Going into the desert and confronting the devil:

Learning to trust and grow strong:

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

Lent is part of the rhythm of Christian life:

Lent is more than just 40 days:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Finding fullfilment in the Church Jesus founded:

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