The Maroon

Opinion: Lent is a season worth celebrating

The+Loyola+community+gathers+in+Holy+Name+of+Jesus+Catholic+Church+for+the+Mass+of+the+Holy+Spirit+in+fall%2C+2016.+Lent+is+the+Catholic+liturgical+season+of+spiritual+observance+and+mindful+moderation%2C+lasting+40+days+from+Ash+Wednesday+to+Easter+Sunday.+ARCHIVES+%2F+The+Maroon
The Loyola community gathers in Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church for the Mass of the Holy Spirit in fall, 2016. Lent is the Catholic liturgical season of spiritual observance and mindful moderation, lasting 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. ARCHIVES / The Maroon

The Loyola community gathers in Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church for the Mass of the Holy Spirit in fall, 2016. Lent is the Catholic liturgical season of spiritual observance and mindful moderation, lasting 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. ARCHIVES / The Maroon

The Loyola community gathers in Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church for the Mass of the Holy Spirit in fall, 2016. Lent is the Catholic liturgical season of spiritual observance and mindful moderation, lasting 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. ARCHIVES / The Maroon


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Ken Weber

Interim Director of University Ministry

[email protected]

Lent has begun! Mardi Gras was a great party, as always, and now it’s time to get ready for an even bigger party: the end of death as we know it.

Lent, which is derived from the Germanic word for “spring,” is a season of growth. Whether you believe in God, Jesus or none of the above, growth is what we do our entire lives as human beings. During the 40 days of Lent, the Catholic Church (among others) calls us to grow through prayer, fasting and giving. At Loyola, these “disciplines” are advertised on the lawn signs around campus explaining some ways to understand prayer, fasting and giving, and also giving some examples of how to practice each one.

Lent can be observed in as many ways as there are people observing it. One person might give up sweets, another might try to eat more healthily in general; one person might pray more while another might try to be aware of the present moment more often; one person might give more money to the collection at church, another might decide that keeping up better with current events is how they “give” to the world. All forms of prayer, fasting and giving can lead us to grow into our truer selves, which we believe at this Jesuit school means growing closer to God. However you observe Lent, the objective is the same: to grow in our understanding of the ultimate Truth: that God’s love for us endures through death and brings us to eternal life.

Just as Mardi Gras would not exist without Lent, Lent would not exist without Easter. Easter is the highest celebration in the church, as it celebrates the moment – in real history – when this man named Jesus from Nazareth rose from the dead and revealed the Truth about all of life to humanity. We encounter in Easter the total fulfillment of a human life, which is deathless eternal union with God. That’s worth partying over!

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Opinion: Lent is a season worth celebrating