Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday tomorrow (in case you've forgotten) is often seen as a rather downbeat time, focusing mainly on "giving things up." While sacrifice, penance and self-abnegation are all valuable spiritual disciples that can help us detach ourselves from things that can get between us and God, that's not the only reason for Lent, a season of expectation and desire. To broaden that understanding a bit, here's a piece from HuffingtonPost on a slightly more "positive" way of looking at Lent as a time of "bothering to love," (a term popularized by James F. Keenan, S.J., a moral theologian at BC). Here's a fun video from BustedHalo which tries to explain Lent in 2 minutes flat (and does a pretty good job, too.) Also, above is a brief video we recorded a few years back on how sacrifice and almsgiving, one of whose original purposes was to save money for the poor, can lead to...joy. After all one of the prefaces for the Mass during Lent says, "Each year you give us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery."
James Martin, SJ