What is the purpose of Lent? Lent is not simply a way to renew your commitment to a New Year’s resolution or jump start your diet. It’s much more than a tradition or ritual. Lent should be a time of spiritual renewal and purification that ultimately leads us to Christ.

It’s easy to get caught up in the goals that we have set for ourselves during Lent and to become fixated on the results that we desire, but we must remember that if we have not grown deeper in love with the Lord, our accomplishments are in vain.

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Keeping our eyes fixed on Christ will help us stay strong in our Lenten sacrifices and offerings. When we purposefully fast, give alms, and pray with a heart that desires to know Jesus and serve Him, our actions move beyond requirements and rules. It is this type of Lent that will lead to a joyous Easter morning and a true celebration of the Risen Lord.

The 3 Pillars that Help Us Discover the Purpose of Lent

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Pope Francis has offered more advice on living Lent with purpose. Read his Ash Wednesday homily here.