Lenten Observance is not just a Religious Reality

Lenten Observance is not just a Religious Reality

Do you know that the “Lenten Observance” is Not Just a Religious Reality?

Yes! You can read that again, and while rereading it, make sure to pay attention on the “Not”.

Actually, there could be so many obvious facts to concretize this affirmation, but in all those, it will be very important to state clearly the purpose of this piece for “you” that is reading it.

Here is a summarised presentation of the basic “take-away” or benefits of this piece; therefore, you are invited to be on the watch out for them during the course of the reading adventure. They are:

1) To discover a well-furnished formula of what you may have been struggling to do on your own without much success.

2) To understand the foundation of the Christian faith, and how it appears to be quite authentic and necessary for life in general.

3) To have a look at some of the influences of the Catholic-Christian culture.

As have been stated, hopefully, these objectives and purposes will found their elaboration and explanation within the context of this article.

It is good to begin by making some highlight remarks on what actually is the common notion of “Lent”.

Firstly, it is a season or period in the Catholic Church. This season begins with the celebration of the “Ash”, which is constantly on a Wednesday. It spans for a 40-day period, not including the Sundays, and ends on the day before the Easter or paschal Sunday.

There are also outstanding dates within this period of lent, such as the “Holy week”, which is actually the last week of this Lenten season. Moreover, within the Holy week, there are some special days; namely, the Holy Thursday (also called, Maundy Thursday), the Good Friday, and the Holy Saturday.

Do you know that the “Lenten Observance” is Not Just a Religious Reality?

Having made that little clarification, it is time to move over to the “bone of contention”.

In the first place, it is a common knowledge that there are some laws that govern the world or universe. There are also some laws that govern our moral conducts, social life, health and fitness, peaceful coexistence, communication, relationship, beliefs, etc.

Even though some of these laws are not encoded, yet we still find them worth respecting. Some of them, however, have made their way into some of our institutions. Such as: the Health Sector, Academic Institution, Finance and Economic Institutions, Religious Institutions, etc.

It is in line with these common codes and respectable norms that we are invited to take a look at what the basic teachings and reflections of this “Lenten Experience” is offering to every one of us, independent of religion, country, culture, or state of life.

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The Lenten Reflection, just like in every other year, is offering three solutions of life: PRAYER, ALMSGIVING, AND ABSTINENCE (OR FASTING). These solutions or arms of the Lenten season gear towards proper conversion, reconciliation, and a firm spirit.

The attempt in this write-up is not only to offload, if actually it will be mentioned, the religious or liturgical sense of the season, but also to judiciously extract the commonplace application. If possible, help us to reflect on the possibility of taking up the formula.

It is an obvious fact that there are so many good persons without religious affiliation. They attempt to do their best with respect to bettering the world and enjoying the best it has to offer them.

However, the danger here is in the crisis of not getting adequate response from the measure that one is putting out. Logically, we can say that anyone who does what is right should correspondingly receive a positive treat. Nevertheless, we know that the reality of the world does not always respond that way.

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We live in a world where good and bad things happen to good people, and vice versa.

We live in a world where we have so many good prospects, but sometimes lack the courage and strong will to embark on them.

We live in a world where we often question why we should live right and do good, especially when it seems as if the unruly are not being held culpable.

We know that the human being has a physical and spiritual dimension. Nevertheless, we live in a world where it is easy to lose the sense of being alive and the sense of purpose. Especially, where everything has lost its spiritual and transcendental sense.

We live in a world where people feel lonely in the midst of the crowd. Where people do not know what to do with their abundance, in a hungry and starving world.

In addition, where people have become slaves to appearances, their vain passions, their weakness, their distaste, and the things that make them unhappy.

It is in the midst of all these confusions that these solutions find their relevance.

PRAYER: What can we learn from the act of prayer? The simple response is communication. The beauty of creation has taught us that God has created us to savour the warmth and company of our fellow human beings. One of the ways of living out this reality is through communication. It is a very important part of our existence.

Therefore, in the act of prayer, especially the format revealed to us by Jesus Christ, known as the “Lord´s Prayer”, we can find a perfect way of carrying out this gesture. The sign of the cross should teach us that this communication is not only horizontal, but also vertical.

The very need to ponder on the mystery of our existence, how, why and where we came from and will return. In addition, to negotiate a means of communication with this quest into our existence, in line with the ones we already have established with our fellows, herein.

ALMSGIVING: There is a biological law that “if we continue taking in food without excreting, we die”. There is also another analogy that “an occupied hand can never receive new things”. Life is a gift. Gifts are gotten by acts of sharing. In this case, the gift of life is not only for a personal use, it is for the common use, which is one of the reasons that we are also given the ability to communicate.

This is an invitation to the act of “sharing”. The technical Christian term is “charity”. In “Lent”, it is concretized with the word “Almsgiving”, which depicts the more practical action of “extending the alms or lending a helping hand”.

There is no one with everything. Meanwhile, there is no one with nothing. Every human being has the ability to give something; it can be in the form of Treasure, Time, or Talent.

ABSTINENCE (FASTING): Our passions and desire remind us of our limitations as created entities. We do not always get all we need from life. As such, there is need for contentment. To be contented and grateful for the little we have. To acknowledge that there are things we cannot acquire.

Buddha acknowledges that the source of suffering is “Desire”. This is understood as an inordinate craving, which can lead us to many negative energies and emotions, such as: anxiety, frustration, envy, jealousy, etc.

Therefore, there is a great need to acquire this “virtue” of Abstinence or fasting. It has a medical sense (where one needs to diet or avoid some dishes), it has an economic sense (to be able to make savings), and even a social or relational sense (moderating ones caprices and vices in order to be accommodating or acceptable).

However, there is even more profound and deep sense of it as it concerns the religious and spiritual sense, which is not actually the hub of concentration here.

see more: Jesus Reemphasises The Blessedness of Mary: The “Hail Mary” Prayer (CF. Luke 11:27-28)

So far so good! These solutions have cut across communication, corporation, common good and coexistence. It is an awareness that we can actually get a lot from this season of lent that the Catholic Church is proposing. Maybe not from a more spiritual or religious sense, but from an ordinary sense of the everyday reality.

Do have a great adventure!

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