Learn from Lent traditions: Not just a Catholic thing

Gwen Ueding | Cartoonist

By The Editorial Board

As the last 20 days of the Lent season approach, there are many things everyone — including those who don’t follow the 40-day prayer — can learn from the traditional practices throughout this period of time.

Lent, which began on Feb. 22 this year, is “a 40-day season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday,” which is the Thursday before Easter. Then at the end of Lent, Christians celebrate Easter as the Lord’s Resurrection.

Throughout the 40-day juncture, those that practice will serve alms and self-discipline on multiple occasions — something other Christians could learn from partaking in as well. Lent is not a “Catholic-only” tradition; it’s a time in which people of any denomination can use to learn from as well.

This season, although usually known to be practiced in one branch of Christianity, may also serve as a reminder to everyone of where their faith lies and what their beliefs are. While the Bible details Jesus’ 40-day and 40-night journey in the wilderness, it also mentions the sacrifices the Lord made throughout that time in order to pass his tests. He resisted temptation and kept away from what the devil tried to coerce him to do.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’” (Matthew 4:1-3)

If there is one thing the Lent season can teach and help anyone with, it’s to truly understand what making sacrifices for a little over a month can do. Taking the time to give something up can put the distractions you have from your faith into perspective or even the things you aspire to in the long run that are probably holding you back.

While Lent is a tradition that many hold close to the heart and falls within religious practices, everyone could truly benefit from doing some of the practices that the season holds.

Throughout these last 20 days of Lent, take the time to think about the things that are holding you back from your goals or that you know are not bringing you any benefit. Appreciate this time of repentance, grace and forgiveness and think about how you’ve been treating others lately. Many can benefit from sacrificing and committing to doing something for this short amount of time.