February 9, 2021: Lent 2021 – a letter from our Provincial President
One month of 2021 is finished and we now enter February. If you think January went very quickly, hang on! February is shorter in days and full of events that keep moving us forward. Treasure each day, person and each event you experience.
I learned this year that February comes from the Latin word, februa, which means to cleanse. The month was named after the month-long festival of purification and atonement, Februalia. According to a web search, the festival included prayer, sacrifice and atonement.
February 17th marks the beginning of Lent, a time of prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving, and cleansing. What has been your attitude toward Lent? How do you navigate it? Do you have new attitudes toward it? Has it been a time of cleansing for you?
As I was growing up, emphasis was put on giving up our favorite food or past-time; praying and going to church more often, and giving alms to the poor. Much emphasis was put on exterior acts, and not what was happening interiorly.
I don’t remember much of a change in my interior life in my youth, and I might have been too young to comprehend this call. All I knew is that I was happy when Lent ended.
Now that I am older, I look at Lent differently and I find myself loving Lent. I believe Lent calls me and us to something deeper, and it is good to know that at the end of the 40 days, we will not be perfect but will hopefully have taken a step further to deepening and cleansing our life of what gets in God’s way.
Happy February, everyone. Happy and Holy Lent as well. May we be transformed by God’s great love for us and each other this Lent.
Sr. Margaret Hickey, ND
Provincial President of the Notre Dame Sisters