Other than Ramadan it seems Lent is becoming an almost invisible time of the 1.2 billion Catholics in this world. Putting the sweets or the alcohol away is rather driven by diet than religious consideration and besides those going to mass every Sunday and seeing the purple of the priests stole it seems that this marked time has little impact on this world.
I think this is a pity as times like lent could be a collective “breathe deeply” – and I am sure it those 1.2 billion do this on the same day – it would have an interesting impact. But as the church until now was obsessed with bedroom questions and dogma – such liturgical times slipped through as unimportant. There seems to be change in the air and as the jewel of social teaching starts shining and overrides the impression of religion as a strict moral institution there might also be more conscience about the treasure of special times in the church year.
I would love to see lent as a time where the rush of life slows down and words and judgements are ceased to be on the forefront. Lent could be a time of collective reflection on what is important in life and whether we really serve the one and only purpose church can have: showing that God loves everybody unconditional. Dot. Not more, but also not less… I can tell you miracles would happen again on this earth…
A joyful Lent to all of you!