Lent in the Catholic Maronite Church
By: Elias Bejjani

February 11/13

Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. In our Catholic Maronite Church Lent starts this year on the ASH Monday, February 11/12. Lent in principle is a Holy period that is ought to be utilized with God in genuine contemplation, self humility, repentance, penances, forgiveness, praying and conciliation with self and others.

Lent is a privileged time of interior pilgrimage towards Him Who is the fount of mercy.

It is a pilgrimage in which He Himself accompanies us through the desert of our poverty, sustaining us on our way towards the intense joy of Easter.

Even in the “valley of darkness” of which the Psalmist speaks (Ps 23:4), while the tempter prompts us to despair or to place a vain hope in the work of our own hands, God is there to guard us and during the entire Lenten period, the Church offers us God's Word with particular abundance.

By meditating and internalizing the Word in order to live it every day, we learn a precious and irreplaceable form of prayer; by attentively listening to God, who continues to speak to our hearts, we nourish the itinerary of faith initiated on the day of our Baptism.

Prayer also allows us to gain a new concept of time: without the perspective of eternity and transcendence, in fact, time simply directs our steps towards a horizon without a future.

Instead, when we pray, we find time for God, to understand that his "words will not pass away" (cf. Mk 13: 31), to enter into that intimate communion with Him "that no one shall take from you" (Jn 16: 22), opening us to the hope that does not disappoint, eternal life.

*Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator Email phoenicia@hotmail.com
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