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What is Lent?

What is Lent?
Lent is one of the five
liturgical seasons in the
liturgical year.

During this time the People of

God are called to commemorate
and reflect on the Lords passion
through spiritual preparation,
conversion, and penance.

This Holy Season is an invitation

to renew our baptismal call. To
live as Sons and daughters of
God and disciples of Christ, our
Lord and savior.
What is the meaning of the word
Lent is a Germanic word that
basically means spring season.

The Latin equivalent is

quadragesima a word meaning
forty days.

Spring is a time of change

and renewal

The winter is over life begins

to grow again.

Lent is a spiritual spring, a

time for spiritual growth
and renewal.
Did you know?
Lent is preceded by
the first section of
Ordinary time and
followed by the
season of Easter.
When does Lent Begin?
The season of Lent begins on
Ash Wednesday.

Did you know?

Catholics are not the only
Christians celebrating Ash

Ash Wednesday is celebrated

by other Christian
denominations such as:
Lutherans, Episcopalians,
Anglicans, and Methodists.
Did you know?
On Ash Wednesday one billion
Catholics around the world go
to Church to receive the Ashes
during mass or outside the

Catholics then begin the Holy

season of Lent.
Why is it called Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is so called
because on this day Ashes are
used to mark Catholics on their
foreheads as a sign of
conversion and repentance.

Did you know?

The ashes used on Ash
Wednesday come from the
blessed palms left over from the
previous year.

The palms are burnt to produce

the ashes. Ashes are considered
sacramentals and are blessed
before their use.
What is the meaning of the Ashes?
A. The ashes are a symbol of
repentance and conversion.

B. The ashes act as a reminder

that we are called to die to sin
and return to God

C. The ashes are a symbol that

reminds us that life is fragile and
that one must be ready to face
our creator.
What phrases are used to impose
the ashes?
During the Ash Wednesday
service two phrases or
formulas are used to impose
(place) the ashes on the
forehead of Catholics.

These formulas are:

Turn away from sin

and be faithful to the

You are dust and into

dust you shall return.
What is the meaning behind these
These phrases are
invitation to:
A. Repentance
B. Reconciliation
C. Penance
D. Discipleship
How do we prepare spiritually for
A. By letting go of sinful
B. By seeking conversion
(interior change)
C. By practicing Penance
D. By following the
teachings of Christ.
E. By practicing the three
pillars of Lent.
What is Penance?
Penance: is making

Amends = Making up
for what we do wrong.

Lent is an opportunity to
clean up the inner mess
and fix our lives and our
relationship with God and
What are the three pillars of Lent?
A. Prayer
B. Fasting
C. Almsgiving
Why is Fasting different from
Fasting is an spiritual exercise.

For the Hebrews fasting was more

than just afflicting ones body.

Fasting involved the afflicting of

ones soul through the denial of
our wants and desires. Is a form of
spiritual ascetism, self-control

Fasting is an expression of
wholeheartedness and penance.

Dieting is something we do for

health or cosmetic reasons.
Lenten Regulations
All dioceses have their own regulations
for fasting. Please call your local parish
or diocese to find out what the
regulations are for your particular

The following regulations are example

from the Archdiocese of Miami:

All the Fridays of Lent are days of

abstinence. Meat may not be eaten.
The law of abstinence binds all
Catholics fourteen years of age and
older. Ash Wednesday & Good Friday
are also days of fast. All Catholics
between the ages of 21 and 59 years
old are bound to fast. On days of fast,
one full meal and two lesser meals are

Eating between meals is not St. Marys Cathedral

permitted. Miami, Florida
How can we improve our prayer life
during Lent?
Increase and improve the
quality of your prayer

You may do this by dividing

your prayer time in three

A. Morning
B. Afternoon
C. Evening

Spend 15 to 20 minutes alone,

meditating, talking to God.
How can we improve our prayer life
during Lent?
A. Become familiar with
the life and teachings
of Jesus by reading the

B. Each day read a

different chapter from
each of the Gospels.

C. Try to visualized
what is happening.
What is Almsgiving?
Almsgiving is another word for

A. Charity is love in action.

B. Charity is a way to reach

out to those who are in need.

For example: collecting food

cans for the hungry,
sponsoring a child in a needed
area, supporting your local
diocesan charities.

C. Almsgiving is a form of self-

denial, sacrifice on behalf of
Pope Benedict XVIs Message for Lent 2008
For this years Lenten Message, I wish to spend some time
reflecting on the practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific
way to assist those in need and, at the same time, an exercise in
self-denial to free us from attachment to worldly goods. The force of
attraction to material riches and just how categorical our decision
must be not to make of them an idol, Jesus confirms in a resolute
way: You cannot serve God and mammon (Lk 16,13). Almsgiving
helps us to overcome this constant temptation, teaching us to
respond to our neighbors needs and to share with others whatever
we possess through divine goodness.

To read the entire message please visit the following link:
How long is the season of Lent?
The season of Lent is
forty days long not
counting Sundays.
What is the Biblical meaning for the
number forty?
In the biblical sense forty is a
time of purification and

A. It took forty years for Israel

to get ready and enter the
promised Land.

B. It took forty days and forty

night for the earth to be
purified from sin in the story of
the flood.

C. Jesus prayed forty days and

forty nights to prepare for his
public ministry.
What is discipleship?
Discipleship is the process
of learning to be a

The word disciple means


Student is the one who

learns from the master.

Discipleship is learning to
be like Christ.
How do we learn to be like Christ?
A. Study Christs

B. Let Christs
teachings affect your

C. Follow Christs

D. Witness Christs
teachings in your life
and in the world.
Reflection from
The Cost of Discipleship
"Christianity without discipleship is always
Christianity without Christ. It remains an
abstract idea, a myth which has a place
for the Fatherhood of God, but omits
Christ as the living Son. There is trust in
God, but no following of Christ."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What is the Color of Lent?
The liturgical color of
Lent is purple.

Purple is a symbol of
What story is read the first Sunday
of Lent?
The story of Jesus
being tempted in the

The story is found in

Matthew 4:1-11
What are the three universal
A. The temptation for
pleasure regardless of the

B. The temptation for power;

the need to control and
dominate others.

C. The temptation for

popularity, the need to be
greater than God. Self-idolatry.

Like Jesus, We must avoid

these trappings in every day
Why are Sundays not counted
during Lent?
Because Sunday is
the day of the

For Christians
every Sunday is
like a mini Easter.
What is the climax of the season of
The climax of the season
of Lent is Holy Week.

Holy Week begins on

Palm Sunday and ends
with the Holy Triddum.

Triddum means: three

days. These days are:

Holy Thursday, Good

Friday, Holy Saturday.
The Community of Faith
During Lent parishes expand the
opportunities for sacramental
confession. Dont miss this opportunity.

Also during Lent many parishes have

penitential services and parish missions.
Make plans to attend.

Lent is great time for devotion and

personal piety. This is a great
opportunity to pray the stations of the
cross and meditate on the Lords

Lent is a great opportunity to go on a

retreat. Contact your local diocese and
find out what retreats are taking place
in your diocese. Invite others to come
Resources online
The U.S. Bishops conference has great
online resources for this Lenten season.

Their link is:
Thomas Mertons Prayer
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I
am following your will does not mean that I am actually
doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact
please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right
road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be
lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never
leave me to face my perils alone.

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