From Sabine Schwartz, Catholic Chaplain:
I love the fact that Lent in English is called – well, Lent. It’s an old Saxon word for Spring, and that sounds just so much more appealing than, let’s say, the German ‘Fastenzeit’ or fasting tide. General perception not withstanding, it’s not all about giving things up or even ‘just’ about repentance, at least if this is only understood as being aware of our sinfulness and trying to make amends, or to become somewhat better Christians.
Lent, like spring, is also about new beginnings and about growth, and in this sense it is a hopeful and, in a strange way, also a joyful time where I am invited to grow closer to God and closer the the ‘me’ that God created me to be. (Not that this invitation wouldn’t be there at any other time of the year, but being human, it helps to have ‘special’ times.)
So I wish you all a happy and holy Lent – and a good spurt of growth!