Lent is a Catholic tradition which is very much practiced here in the Philippines. It is a period of the Liturgical Year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial. And Holy Week marks the Death and Resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday (March 9, 2011) and ends on (23 April 2011), which is the day before Easter. The color I usually see during Lenten Season is Purple, which I know symbolizes a Royal color, which in the case the King. (dahil favorite ko ang purple, feeling prinsesita ako! hahaha!)
Ash Wednesday is a day of obligation for all Catholic Christians. So everyone MUST attend the Holy Eucharist during this day.
Every year, this is the season where I find the most sacred/solemn especially the Holy Week. It is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection. It is the time where we can be silent for a while and remember Christ in a special way, how He sacrificed His life for us and should be forever thankful for that.
I have a personal journey every Lent. I just want to share.
Some might say I’m religious and holy but I’m afraid I’m not even close. I always find myself being sorry for my shortcomings and feels unworthy of His blessings. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I want to be closer to Him. Often times I get envious, greedy and most especially proud. I always ask Him to give me the grace not to be those. But sometimes, I really can’t resist to be tempted to think and do awful things.
In Manila, everything is fast paced. Everything seems to be in a hurry. Well, maybe for me. I don’t know why but I feel just like that. Recently, my friend and I went to Caleruega for a time off. We both felt peace but craving for more time in Caleruega.
In the past, I did forgot Him and forgot how it felt to be closer to Him. So in a way, He did something that made me come back and re-connect my relationship with Him. I promised myself that every year, I would go back to Caleruega just to have our “annual date“. I felt bad that I didn’t kept my promise but I did something to compromise it. With that, I felt I cheated him and broke my word.
Well, reflecting on my life these past few years, He blessed me more than I can imagine. I think He was not mad but still made me guilty not doing what I promised. I was happy that He gave me the opportunity this year and I made time to be with Him in solitude once again. It was Palm Sunday way back and now it’s the start of the Lenten season. It might be co-incidental but I always find this season even subconsciously a time to be closer to Him. So
Another thing about the Lenten Season is the sacrifice and Holy Week observance. In my early years of childhood, I remember that during Good Friday, we are not allowed to watch TV and even listen to the Radio. I find it ridiculous at first but as I grow old, I knew why we had to do that. Well, I think it’s just an over reaction of my parents/relatives but come to think of it, if someone special to us died, do we have time to watch the TV and listen to the radio? Most of the time we just sit and remember all the good things and memories we had with that special person. So maybe that’s how we should remember the Lord’s death at the cross. That’s why I am a bit disappointed with people who take Holy Week as an opportunity to go for an outing. However, who am I to judge people how they celebrate Holy Week? Maybe they have their own way of observing it so sometimes, I let go of it. It’s how I observe it and not how other people take it.
What about sacrifice? It is traditional that we do fasting and abstinence during the Lenten Season. As time goes by, these observance were altered. I remember the first time I learned about it, Fasting is done every Friday during the season and Abstinence is done everyday during the season. Last Sunday, the priest informed me that Fasting and Abstinence is practiced only for 2 days: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
To differentiate the two, here’s the webster’s definition:
Fasting – The act or practice of abstaining from or eating very little food.
Abstinence – The act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite or desire.
Before, I thought that during Holy Week, it is only Meat that we are not allowed to eat. Yes, it was in the Bible but as far as I can remember, someone told me that it is not necessary not to eat meat as your abstinence but someone you think you can abstain as a sacrifice for the Lord. In the Scriptures, I think meat was their food during feasts. So as a sacrifice, they are not allowed to eat meat. (sorry if this is wrong, kindly message me for correction) Now, in the modern times, we are obliged to sacrifice something we normally do and feels like we can’t live without for 40 days of Lent and then celebrate on Easter Sunday! ^_^
Well, last year I think
I sacrificed “dessert“. However, I find myself compromising because I don’t know when a food is considered a dessert. Is it any food eaten after a meal? Hahaha! (I saw my previous post and learned that I sacrificed meat and junk foods last year). So this year I want to be specific. Since I’m a 100% fan of chocolates, I will try my best to sacrifice eating chocolates for the whole Season of Lent. I hope I can stay true to my word. I’m also thinking about FB.. hhmm.. can I keep up?
May we all have a meaningful Lenten Season. God bless us all. ^_^