Ash Wednesday and Lent

A spring time of life.

arun simon
3 min readFeb 22


Two words that are etymologically connected to Lent are spring and forty. Lent is considered the spring-time of spiritual life, where we prepare to produce better fruits and flowers. It’s very much inscribed in the tradition of events that had forty in the Bible — 40 years in the desert for the Israelites and 40 days of praying by Jesus in the deserts which included the temptations.

Three terms that are associated with Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. In one way, I can imagine as doing a little more of prayer during this time, participating in more devotional practices, fasting from meat or chocolate or any of my favourite things, and doing some amount of charity. Each of these acts have its own value, but it’s true that value is not the same for everyone, and it becomes more valuable, when these actions lead to some lasting transformations — a transformation that can continue in the Easter Season. It may better to analyze three of the terms in a little depth.

  1. Prayer. I consider the main purpose of prayer is a relationship with God. When any of my Lenten observances is helping me in that direction, it becomes a prayer. It can vary from momentary consciousness of my friend-God in my daily life to hours of prayer. Yes, it’s important to find out my style, because it’s about my relationship with God. That uniqueness or singularity of that relationship should never be forgotten.
  2. Fasting. We easily associate this with food. I had some French friends who fasted from red meat (others not taking a flight) during Lent also because of ecological reasons, and that consciousness of the connection between red meat and ecology continued with them even after Lent. Fasting from food can be helpful from health or spiritual perspectives. It’s for each of us to see whether it helps oneself. We can also fast from anger, jealousy, hatred, un forgiveness, anxiety, stress, selfishness and feast with love, peace, joy, kindness etc. This fasting to feasting journey may never be complete, but we can start the journey.

3. Almsgiving. Lenten Alms are collected in various churches for various reasons. People do a lot of charity too. But can we also initiate charity, may be for our workers or house-helps, that can continue post-Easter too. Treating fellow human beings with dignity and respect can be our biggest gift to the other.

Its important to initiate many simple actions, that brings joy and happiness to others, and that transforms us. Two examples from groups I am associated are..

Prepared by friends

Let’s live the Lent. Lent is a community celebration of renewal and living the good news. It can create a spring-time in our community, family and personal lives.

Received from a friend

If we don't have the capability or capacity (for whatever reason) to do any of those things, atleast have a smile. That’s a good start.

Source: Internet



arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…