Below are some reflections from different writers on the meaning of Lent.
“In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days. After being baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves” (Frederick Beuchner )
“With the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption, and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit. The special note of the paschal feast is this: the whole church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins. It rejoices in the forgiveness of not only those who are then reborn in holy baptism but also of those who are already numbered among God’s adopted children…
Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at all times should now be done with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin”
(Pope St Gregory the Great)