The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the days of the season of Lent “are intense moments of the church’s penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies and pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).” That is a good summation of a very important season of the church year.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22 this year) and concludes with the Sacred Triduum that leads to Easter Sunday. Most Catholics know basic things about Lent: they know it is a season that marks a time to repent and turn back to God, they know it’s the season that leads up to holy week and Christ’s passion, and they know about some of the Church disciplines during Lent, such as no meat on Fridays. These are the basic elements of the season, but there is much more to know about Lent and its history. Read more »