Inspired by the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert before his public ministry, Lent is the prayerful and penitential season when Catholics pray, fast, give alms, practice self-denial, and perform good works with even greater devotion.

Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent anticipates and prepares Catholics for the commemoration of the events of Jesus’ Passion and Death and his Resurrection which is celebrated at Easter.

Traditionally, Lent is also the time for people who are converting to the Catholic faith to prepare for their Baptism which takes place at the Easter Vigil.

Throughout the season of 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 and linens on the altar is a reminder of Jesus’ pain and suffering.  In the Church, flowers and other decorations are absent and statues may be covered.

Because the promise of the Resurrection at Easter is a cause for joy even in the midst of Lent, purple may be replaced with the color rose on the fourth Sunday, known as Laetare Sunday from the Latin word for “rejoice”.

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

Sort of a spring cleaning of our lives:

Busted Halo®

Not just giving something up:

Catholic Central

So much more than meets the eye:

Spirit Juice

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:

Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Preparing to be able to enjoy the Easter celebration even more:

Risen Christ Catholic Parish Denver

Journeying with Jesus in two dimensions of Lent:

St. Paul Center

Lent is a time of truth. Christians, called by the Church to prayer, penance, fasting and self-sacrifice, place themselves before God and recognize themselves; they rediscover themselves. “Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return”. Remember, man, that you are called to things other than worldly and material goods that can easily divert you from what is essential. Remember, man, your first calling: you come from God, and you return to God by going towards the Resurrection which is the path marked out by Christ. “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple”. Lent is a time of profound truth, which brings conversion, restores hope and, by putting everything back in its proper place, brings peace and optimism.

Pope John Paul II, Message for Lent, 1981

Going into the desert and confronting the devil:

Bishop Robert Barron

Learning to trust and grow strong:

Ascension Presents

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:

Catholic Breakfast

Lent is more than just 40 days:

Breaking In The Habit

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

So that you may fully live:

Sacred Heart of Jesus Convent

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