By Ken Foyle ‘20

Lent is a very important time for Catholics as we put aside worldly belongings and sacrifice day-to-day luxuries in order to thank Jesus for his coming.

Every year, a prayer service is held on Ash Wednesday, and this year was no different.

The speakers talked about their Lenten promises and stressed the importance of having a solid Lenten promise to keep instead of giving up a simple food or drink. Lenten promises are much more than just not doing something for 40 days; they are about living like Jesus and trying to better ourselves before His Resurrection.

A great example of a truly meaningful Lenten promise is trying to be nicer to those around us. This would show an effort to be like Jesus in spreading kindness, but would also improve character and personality.

It can be very difficult to start a new habit, so Lent is the perfect time. Lent is a time for promises and goals to be met, so try starting a new habit during Lent for only 40 days, and soon, that Lenten promise can turn into a lifestyle change. On average it takes about two months to fully implement a habit into everyday life, and Lent is about 66 percent of two months.

Senior Peer Minister Nate Cook said, “[This] prayer service helped me think of my own Lenten promise because I got inspiration from some of the speakers and was able to make a goal that actually meant something to me.”

The distribution of ashes is one of the staples of its namesake Ash Wednesday prayer service. The ashes are meant to remind us that we ask for forgiveness for our sins and ask for our hearts to be purified in the coming of Jesus.

Even kids who either aren’t Catholic or don’t know what Lent is are accepted on Ash Wednesday. The prayer service is meant to put everyone in the right frame of mind heading into the season, and it acts as a deadline for making Lenten Promises.

Senior Ben Blahusiak said, “I usually don’t make huge Lenten promises, but this year I will try to improve myself and others daily through my actions.”

Ben and others like him are truly immersing themselves in the season of Lent. Their Lenten promises force them to make changes in their lives for the better. This is the true purpose of Lent–to push Catholics to repent and live like Jesus.