With Ash Wednesday, the season of Lent has begun. In Christianity, Lent is the season of fasting and penance leading up to Easter.
And although Lent is most commonly associated with Catholicism, Christians from other denominations also observe the season.
Lent lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. (That means Sundays are a day to break from the sacrifice.) For many people, that means 40 days of "giving up" something – a candy, coffee, chewing gum, t.v., Facebook ...
Others take a different approach, adding extra spiritual devotion time to their daily routine.
Patheos offers a different suggestion for every day of Lent – praying for enemies, giving money to charity, calling an old friend, using a more energy-efficient lightbulb. LifeTeen, a website for Catholic youth, offers 25 creative suggestions – including giving up shoes, beds, radios and warm showers.
Regardless of what is given up, added or changed, the point is the same: Lent is a time to focus on God, and to reflect on his sacrifice, and the lifestyle changes people make during Lent are made to aid that process.
What about you?
How do you observe Lent? What significance does it have for you, spiritually? Why is it important to you?
We hope you'll leave a comment and share your thoughts.