“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (Book of Common Prayer, page 265)
Lent is derived from a word that means to lengthen, to lengthen our life in Christ. As the Rev. Dr. Mark Bozzuti-Jones of Trinity Episcopal in NY explains, Lent points our way toward Easter, the resurrected life in Christ and our true life as Christians. It is journey seeking renewal.
Lent is about sacrifice. But what does it mean to sacrifice? It literally means “to make something/someone holy”. With this correct understanding of “sacrifice” in mind, we can identify two fundamental purposes of the season of Lent.
Firstly, Lent is a time to recall the “sacrifice” of Christ and how He made all things holy through his suffering, passion, death and resurrection.
Secondly, it is a time in which to conform ourselves to Christ by enacting sacrifice in our personal lives.
Through its 2000 year history, the Church has identified three avenues of sacrifice (making ourselves holy): Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Each of these acts correlate to one of the three theological virtues: Faith (prayer), Hope (fasting) and Charity (almsgiving).
How is God calling you this Lenten season to become a saint through Faithful Prayer, Hopeful Fasting and Charitable Almsgiving ? How can you find areas of sacrifice within ?