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Lent observation has become too superficial

Civilisation has, no doubt, made everything clearer and understandable. However, it has also, in many cases, diverted people from celebrating occasions in a traditional or predefined manner. The urbanity required to lead a civilised life has made people shallow. Families and individuals uprooting their ancestral rites while relishing in activities like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, Holi, Diwali, etc. is not a piece of shocking news anymore. More than often, we see that people stray away from their families on such days. Because they don’t want to look like a fool or uncivilised because their family sticks to celebrating the day traditionally.


Lent is one such ceremony whose traditional practices and motive behind observing it has been blatantly revolutionised over the years. Lasting for 40 days, this festival for fasting, praying, and penitence. Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent starts, is for feasting on favourites for the last time before one goes into Lenten dieting. For the 40 days, people practise abstinence against foods like meat, fish, chocolates, fats and such things until Easter Sunday. Some people even abstain from social media for that period.


With the goal of being ‘modern’, observing Lent has nearly lost its meaning. Now, most of the people abstain from luxurious foods such as chocolates or pizzas, or anything unhealthy. Although this thought is not immoral, it dismisses the essence of observing Lent when people stop praying or fasting. Madeline Burns, a contributor to the student magazine of Saint Louis University, mentions how much this occasion has been Americanised. Instead of coming out of Lent with a grateful heart and a sound mind, people only rejoice over leaving unhealthy food behind. Besides getting into shape, Lent is about repenting one’s bad deeds. It is about praying for the soul. One must come out with a grateful heart that rejoices in the love and sacrifices of Jesus Christ.


Dibyasha Das