THE MERE MENTION of Lent can sometimes seem dismal, like a long, dreary day. Lent consists, in fact, of 40 days and 40 nights of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Who can endure it?
Yet the word “Lent” does not pertain to darkness or despair. Quite the opposite. The original meaning of the word actually has to do with springtime. When Lent begins, it’s winter. But by the time Lent concludes, the days are growing longer and the forsythias are in bloom. Even if there is an unseasonal snow shower, we take heart knowing that winter is having its last gasp.
Lent, then, represent more

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