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How Lent is a time of truth

Nigerian man prays, hands, rosary

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Philip Kosloski - published on 02/08/24

Lent brings out the truth in ourselves and helps us to reorder our lives, bringing them back into alignment with God.

Lent is a time in the Church’s calendar when we can step back and recognize the truth about who we are and where we have fallen short of God’s plan for our lives.

St. John Paul II reflects on this aspect of Lent in his 1981 message:

Lent is a time of profound truth, which brings conversion, restores hope and, by putting everything back in its proper place, brings peace and optimism.

In particular, St. John Paul II recognizes Lent as a time to examine our relationship with God:

Lent is a time that makes us think about our relationship with “Our Father”; it re-establishes the order that should reign between brothers and sisters. Lent is a time that makes us jointly responsible for one another; it detaches us from our selfishness, small-mindedness, meanness and pride; it is a time that enlightens us and makes us understand better that we too, like Christ, must serve.

St. John Paul II continues this reflection by posing questions for all of us to consider during Lent:

Yes, Lent is a time of truth. Let us examine ourselves sincerely, honestly and simply. Our brothers and sisters are there among the poor, the sick, the outcast, the aged. What sort of love do we have? What sort of truth?

So open your minds to look around you, open your hearts to understand and sympathize, open your hands to help. The needs are vast, as you know. I therefore urge you to take a generous part in this sharing.

As we embrace the season of Lent, may we examine our own lives and see how we have lived according to the truth of the Gospel.

BibleLentPope John Paul II
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