What can I do to keep up the spirit and practice of Lent in my life?
Lent is an intense retreat, a forty-day period of reflection and penance that prepares us to celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. Our communication with God and our awareness of him is the purpose of prayer. Setting aside extra time each day helps intensify the season. Prayer includes daily Mass, Stations of the Cross, communal penance services, and private confession. Making restitution for sin as well as disciplining our hearts and minds to focus on God is the purpose of penance. It helps us restore a sense of balance to our souls, thrown out of kilter by sin. Penance includes personal sacrifice, self-denial, fasting, almsgiving, and charitable works. Finally, spiritual practices help us sharpen our understanding and insight into the meaning and understanding of our faith. When you take your faith seriously, you do what is necessary to follow Jesus more closely, to integrate your life and your faith more carefully.