What is Lent?

Christians are in the Season of Lent. But What is Lent?! In other words, ‘What is the Meaning of Lent?’ …Let us see it from Various angles.

The Meaning of Lent as a Word

In Latin, We have it as ‘Lentus,’ meaning Slow. In Music, ‘A-Lento’ is a Slow Tempo. As such, Altogether, Lent means A Slowing Down! It is like one of Our Religious Exercises, namely, ‘Retreats.’ In Retreats, We Fall Back, as it were, to observe the Way Our Life is going, from a ‘Distance.’

When We take Time to Think, We would see that:

  • Our Life has become A Rush, To Earn a Living.
  • So much so, that We are Not Spending Enough Time in examining if We are Spending the Money Right!

Lent is Mentally Slowing Down Our life in order to Observe:

  • Whether Our Value Systems are Right,
  • Whether We are Seeking and Working-for the Right things,
  • And Above All Whether We are Achieving What We have Wanted!

[Just observing such things without taking Corrective steps would be a Meaningless thing, and a Waste of time, would it not?]

Most of the Time We seem to find that We have failed in what We had wanted; like the Happiness of Our Dear Ones, Happiness With Our Dear Ones, etc.

Lent gives Us a Grand Time to Correct Our Courses, as it were! We can put the same thing as Getting Our Life Back on Track.

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Lent, a Time to Repent

We will hear The Word ‘Repent’ used very much during this season of Lent. Actually, ‘Repent’ is practically the very first word that Jesus Uttered in His public ministry. He had said: “Repent, and Believe in the Good News.” (Mark 1:15). The TEV says: ‘Turn away from your sins,’ instead of Repent. Jesus had probably used the word ‘Metanoia.’ This means Such a Profound Change, that it call be called a ‘U’ turn.

Often We would find, particularly in Traffic, that U turns as Not allowed. But in the case of Life, God Not Only Allows them, but Desires them!

God Allows U turns

Graphic Courtesy: worldprayrblog.org

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Turning Back from Our Sins? Are We Such Sinners?!

These are Very Pertinent questions, and Need a Goodly answer. For that, I direct You to my post on Repentance, (in preparation).

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So finally, and In Reality, The Season of Lent is meant for Making the Necessary Changes in Our Life, so that Life becomes More Meaningful, More Satisfying, and Worthy of Being Children of God. …As to How to Make Our Lives Better, Please click here.

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PS: MUCH more can be said about Lent! For some more thoughts on the same, please click here.

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PPS: My Good Friend Rajiv has raised the point that people ‘Repent’ without ‘Reflection.’ Actually, that is Not Right. Am Adding some points on this.

We Human Beings have Two Faculties, namely, Our Intellect and Our Will. Simply Put, All Analysing is done by the Intellect, and All Decisions are taken by the Will. Reflection is done by the Intellect, and Repentance is the Activity of the Will.

No Decision can be taken without Reflection. Our ‘Reactions’ to Many Situations are the Result of a Long time of Deciding Just How to Respond to a Particular Input of Data. A Soldier Home on Leave can React Very Violently if Woken up. That is because that is How he has Trained himself.

If an Action takes place without going through this Intellect-Will process, that would mean that the Brain had Not been Involved. For example, our Reactions to Tickling. This is Purely Instinctive.

The Will can take a Decision Only after it has been presented Facts, (Or what passes for facts!), by the Intellect. The Will might even Decide to take No Action, Or a Contrary Action, on the matter presentedSo Repentance does not Automatically Follow Reflection.

It is True that many a time Many people Say ‘Sorry’ without meaning it. And Most of the time Many believe that this Saying Sorry is a Sign of Repentance. But We have to Remember that people can say Sorry without meaning it. And We all know that such things happen. It would be Our Mistake if We take Mere Lip Service for a Change of Heart and of Repentance.

The point is that God is Not going to take Drama, Mental Gymnastics or Fooling-Around for Repentance. We are on Serious Grounds here.

Repentance, if Desired, HAS to follow Reflection, (I Have used the words Observation and Think in the Article). And, If One wants to See Daylight in Life, One HAS to Repent. A whole Life time of Reflection, without Repentance, Will Not bring about a Good Night’s Sleep.

24 comments

    • My Dear Rajiv, as I have been mulling over it, am wondering if You meant that You would prefer the word ‘Reflect,’ instead of Repent with regard to Lent.

      The point is that Lent is an Age old Season in Christian Liturgical calendar, and indeed it is Repentance that is called for.

      It is Not just being Sorry. True Repentance REQUIRES a Change in Life.

      And, if I may add, Too long have We ‘Reflected,’ Ad Nauseam, in fact. Some Action, without it being Hasty, of course, is More Welcome to Mere, Armchair reflection! 🙂

      Like

      • Yes, I prefer the word reflect. The reason is that repentance comes, with it, a sense of penitence. We repent, we recant, without really knowing what we should repent. We do it because it is the season. If we reflect, not only can we repent, but we can strive to correct and improve.

        Inshahalllah!

        Like

      • That is a Very different understanding of the word Repentance, my Dear Rajiv. A bit of a Mis-Understanding.

        Repentance Follows Reflection. There is No ‘Blind Repentance,’ as they say about ‘Blind Faith,’ a Mis-nomer, if ever there was one.

        Reflection does not necessarily end with Repentance, which is the Must.

        Like

  1. Thank you for this beautiful message of lent on a Monday morning as I traik to the financial capital of Amsterdam to work!! I never really thought about lent as I grew up Protestant.

    Liked by 1 person

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