Now the Catholic Church is in a period of the Lent. It’s a period of 45 days approximately before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. This time is very important for practicing Catholics.
It’s the period of work on yourself, reflexing, meditation time. The Church invites us to change our style of life in this period, to pass more free time in meditation, in prayer to God. The Catholics are invited to adapt their life in this period in a different way. For example, keep the fast. The most important in this period is to think more about Jesus, to pray more often than in usual time, to work more and harder on our spiritual life.
The Lent begins its history from the first centuries of Christianity. We can observe the notion of this period of the fast this session in the Letter of St. Irenaeus (d. 203) to Pope St. Victor I in question about the differences between the Eastern and Western Church. The Council of Nicea (325) adopted the Lent session in a constitutional, official way. This Council inserts this in its disciplinary canon. 40 days of Lent was referred to 40 days of the waiting and preparation of Moses to receive the Ten Commandments. Jesus also fasted and prayed in the desert for “40 days and 40 nights” before his ministry. Then Church continues this practice till this time.
Personally last year I had a great experience in the Lenten season. The priest of my church community in Belgium invited the parishioners to fast one week. It was the real fast without any elements of food. The motto was: “To nourish otherwise; to feed with the Word of God”. Every evening we had the meetings where we were talking about our day, about the lecture of the day and we were praying. I continued to study these days as usual.
Before this experience, I thought that it’s impossible for me to live without nutrition for more than one day. But in fact, I found out that all is possible with the faith, community, prayer, and the Word of God. This year, I will repeat this exercise. This privation of food helped me to feel clearly my connection to God and his connection to my heart. I will not invite all Christians to do the same fast, but I invite you to live this Lent season in the real Christian way. It’s for you to choose your style of practice. It can be just reading of the Bible or the participation in the Mass.