Lent; an important time to reflect on habits and religion

Bella Schluender and Erin Omariba

Lent is celebrated all around the world. Including in the Basilica, which is located in Des Moines, Iowa. (Maria Sherman)

February 22nd to April 6th is a special time for Catholics, just like Hindu and Buddhist people celebrate Diwali, Catholics celebrate lent. Lent is the fourty days before Easter, and Catholics decide to fast and pray and give something up for Jesus, because he gave up his life on Earth for us. Lillie Danis, a Spectrum student that practices Catholicism, said, “we believe that Jesus was fasting and praying in the desert. So we don’t go into an actual desert so we go into a spiritual desert where we fast and pray in preparation for easter”.  Etta Glinsek, a junior at Spectrum, said, “I think it’s kind of a good thing to practice just because I can kinda get out of doing bad habits.”

A close up of the Alter at the Basilica in Des Moines, Iowa. (Maria Sherman)

People not only fast and pray during lent, but they take a lot of time to really think about the more important things in life. Most people give something up for lent. Something that is very important to them, or they are addicted to, but can live without. Some people give these things up to help break a bad habit. As Glinsek says, “I think it’s kind of a good thing to practice just because I can kinda get out of doing bad habits.” Danis is giving up her time, as well as material things. “So I have been waking up about half an hour earlier then I usually do to pray, and I have also given up games and television apps on my phone”, she said.

People think it may be easy to give things up for lent, and for some it may be. But many people give things up that are hard to live without. Even though it is hard, they are able to do it because they want to give something back to Jesus since he gave his entire life for us. GlinsekDanis said, “To give up things is a harder thing for people to do on their own so they like to just think “oh if I’m doing this for Jesus then  have a real reason to like to commit to it.'” The “spiritual desert” of lent is very important to Catholics, and it brings most of them closer to God. Each religion has its own important thing that represents them or helps them identify themselves, whether it is a holiday, and event, or something as simple as an object.