These 40 Days: Gearing Up for a Life-Changing Lent, by Patti Armstrong

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Below, L to R: Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, Father Joshua Ehli and a young Fleck family member have all been changed over the course of Lent. Praise God! (Shutterstock; courtesy of the subjects)

Penitential season packs power to change hearts.

By Patti Armstrong, EWTN News, 2/23/20

Patti Armstrong writes from North Dakota.

The season of spiritual growth draws near. Lent is a focused time to bring us to a new life in Christ. The Church encourages us to partake in a transformation through the three pillars of Lent — prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Those pillars come straight out of the Bible,  in verses such as: “Give alms. … Pray to your Father. … Fast without a gloomy face …” (Matthew 6:1-18).

“The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops states on its website. “We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.”

“Lent is a time of preparation for a major event,” Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, author, psychologist, expert on priestly spirituality and wellness issues, and research associate professor at The Catholic University of America, explained in an interview with the Register. “We are preparing for Easter. One of the most important ways is to ‘Turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel,’ as we say on Ash Wednesday.”  ….

Read more here