First, it is a season of preparation for Easter. Beginning with Ash Wednesday on February 26, 2020, we will count 40 days plus six Sundays until Easter on April 12.

Lent also coincides with a change of seasons. During this period, the northern hemisphere will move from winter into spring, so Lent is often symbolized by a return of sun and flowers. However, Lent is not simply a season of renewal. It is also a period of reflection and release. We must face crucifixion before we celebrate resurrection, must look at the shadow then turn to the light without flinching from either. We sweep away any thoughts that block our good before we affirm statements of Truth to guide our days.

Ash Wednesday Masses will be at 7:30, 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Every year in late February or early March the Lenten season begins. It is, or can be, a marvelous experience in self-improvement. In a way, Lent is coincidental with spring, the season of new growth in nature. The trees and flowers are not content with the blooms of last year. And if we are in the flow of the creative process, we experience divine discontent, in which we feel both the possibility and the need for growth … Lent can be a dynamic experience if it is approached with the will toward honest self-examination, self-discipline, and self-commitment. 

During  the observance of Lent, consider its metaphysical application. Turn from the simple act of giving up things to a more positive commitment to take up the practice of high-level thinking … Form the habit of reaching for the highest point of view in all your dealings … If you have been letting things get you down, take up the idea that you are the master of your thought world. No matter what people say or do, no matter what may happen around you, take up the idea, “Why should I let these things determine how I am going to think or act?” Keep the spirit of joy, the attitude of gratitude, in good times and bad … Lent can be a dynamic experience, not by what you give up as much as by what you take up … It can be a time of great believing leading to great overcoming and great living!

Excerpted from Celebrate Yourself! by Eric Butterworth (Unity Books, 1984)