“We love him, because he first loved us” (King James Bible, 1 John 4:19)
Lent is a very special time in the Church’s year. It encourages us to find time to focus on all that Christ has done and suffered for, to reflect on the great love he has for each one of us and to ask ourselves how we show our love for him and we might grow to love him more.
However, there are dangers associated with Lent, in particular it is so easy to make ourselves the centre of our Lenten rule and exercises. We may propose to say our prayers better and to spend more time on them; to make our Communion more often; and to follow a plan of spiritual reading. And we hope by these means to make spiritual progress, and to be better Christians at the end of Lent that we were at the beginning.
And rightly too: we all have the duty to make good use of those opportunities for growing in Christlikeness which God gives us through his Church.
Nevertheless, we must beware that our observance of Lent does not degenerate into a formal drill for self-improvement, into a sort of spiritual keep-fit. All our Lenten rules and activities are dead and valueless unless they are warmed and inspired by an inner love and devotion for God.