www.whyville.net Mar 22, 2009 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

For The Catholics: Lent

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Author's Note: If you are not Catholic/Christian, I suggest you still read the article. You can learn a lot about our religion and one of the most important Holy Days of Obligation. If you are a practicing Catholic/Christian, you may already know much of the contents of the article, but have you ever pondered the meaning of the actions we take? If you are Catholic/Christian but you are not currently practicing (going to church, Bible study etc.) then read the article. Hopefully you become more curious about your religion and you build up the courage to ask about our religious foundation.

I am a born and raised Catholic. I was baptized into the church when I was a baby, received First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation while I was in second grade. I attend mass every Sunday, as well as with my school each Wednesday. I live by my faith and for my one true God. Being apart of the church is nothing I am ashamed of, and I truly am blessed to be able to celebrate the Eucharist each and every day, whether it is through mass, religious psalms, or religion class. It is who I am.

But this time of year is a unique time of year. This time of year is called Lent.

During Lent, we are preparing for Jesus to rise again to new life, also known as Easter Sunday.

Lent is a pilgrimage. We, Christians, travel with Christ as he is preparing for his death. We are the apostle sitting on the bench next to him at The Last Supper, the bystander watching as he is beaten at Pilate's Palace, the friend marching up the hill with Jesus to Calvary where he will be put to death, a witness laying beneath the cross as he slowly handed over His soul to His Father, and a follower as he resurrects. We share in the pain and we pray for the pain to heal.

There are three main parts of Lent: praying, fasting, and almsgiving.


Prayer is the personal conversation between you and God. During prayer, you are close to God and he listens to you. During Lent, we are even closer to God than we usually are during mass or just random prayer. Lent is a special time for prayer because it is the time when Jesus was on this planet, walking as man. He learned to be like us and he was no different from each one of us. He carried a heart and had two legs. He prayed with the priest of Jerusalem and taught about His Father. We act like Jesus through prayer, and remember the sacrifices Jesus made.

During Lenten prayer, we also focus on God's forgiveness. We fall into God's arms and remind him to remember us and for Him to remind us of the laws he has given us. Some of us may devote our time to personal prayer in a local chapel or at our bedside table to remember those who are going to become Catholic.


Some of you may be saying, "Well I am not going to give up all my food for some silly old holiday." Well I was thinking the same thing. Fasting, during Lent, can have many different meanings. It can cleanse our body of our sins, it may serve as a form of penance, or it can be a symbol of our love for God.

We may give up something we love. For instance, this Lenten Season I gave up soda. In my school, we are given tiny rice bowls that we are to set up and return to school before Easter. Every time I crave a soda or meat on Fridays I put in the rice bowl the amount of money it would cost me to have a soda can or for that rack of ribs. The sacrifice of soda helps me to remember God's sacrifice of his only son. Fasting serves as a form of penance by returning our focus to what God wants of us and the important factors of our Christian life.


Almsgiving is the Greek word meaning 'compassion'. Almsgiving can be the donation of your time, money, or possessions to those who really need it. We follow Jesus' example. Jesus provided for the hungry, the poor and the ill. We try to live my His example by providing and standing up for justice. In my school, we work towards almsgiving by reciting this prayer:

"Lord, We offer you this day, and all that we think, and do, and say."

On Sundays during Lent, Catholics are permitted to have what we gave up. It is a sign of God's love and celebration.

This is dalygirl going into the garage to grab a Coke.


"We live in preparation. We live for us. We live for each other. We live for God. This is the Catholic foundation."


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