What are you going to do these 40 days of Lent?

As a child, Lent was the time when we had to give away are "fun food" (i.e. chocolate, cookies, steak) and eat "not so fun food", i.e. tuna fish sandwiches everyday. (I have nothing against tuna but having a tuna fish sandwich after its been sitting in your lunch bag in a warm classroom is not very tasty). In addition, Lent was also the time when all of my friends went on vacation during spring break but my family got to stay at home and go to mass every day (in my area spring break was always planned for the week going into Easter). I thought of Lent as the "not fun" time of the year and spent most of Lent counting down the days to Easter. 

As I grew with experience, wisdom and knowledge, so too did my faith. When I began to actually listen to what was being read and what was being said at mass, I began to understand what Lent was truly about. I saw the what an amazing gift God the Father gave us in his son Jesus and how this love is everlasting and continues on through the Holy Spirit. Lent turned from being this time of obligation and "not so much fun time" to being this time of learning, praying, and spending quality time with Jesus (aka "party with Jesus" time). I learned to love Lent and make it "fun" for me in the sense that I could use this time to let God recreate in me anew and help me figure out the things that I can do or give up to grow closer to him.

As you begin these next 40 days, I pray that you grow closer to God, grow abundantly in faith, and open yourself up to conversion and turning your lives to Christ so that he can recreate you anew too.

"Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness" (Joel 2:12-18)

"May every family and Christian community use well this time of Lent, therefore, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neightbor. " - Pope Benedict XVI