Why Lent?

We are one week into Lent, but have you stopped yet to consider why we as Catholics observe this penitential season? To help you get the most out of this Lenten season, Bishop Robert Barron stopped by A Closer Look™ to answer the question, “Why Lent?”  He said:

“In all the spiritual traditions, not just Christianity but across the world and across different religions, there is a time of purification and penance. A time of turning around, of metanoia.

All the spiritual traditions recognize that we have a tendency to get this thing wrong. We have a tendency to get out of touch with reality, to turn to ourselves, or to cling to worldly things and pretend that they are God.

Augustine said that we turn from the Creator to creatures. That’s the basic form of dysfunction, when we say, ‘I’m going to find my ultimate happiness in wealth, material things, power, pleasure, or whatever it is.’

Why Lent? Because we get this thing wrong, and we need to take a good, hard look at where things have gone wrong and then take steps to correct it. That’s the desert. That’s the great image of the desert, which can be found across the great religious traditions. But in our tradition it is this Lenten moment.

I would say that if you are feeling lost in the spiritual sense, it could be because you haven’t taken a good, hard look at what is off in you. If your car is not functioning right, when was the last time you brought it in to have somebody look at it? If you’re not feeling well, have you been to the doctor recently to take a good, hard look at your diet, your health? It’s the same with your soul. If things aren’t going right in your soul, when was the last time you took an honest, hard look at your interior life? That’s what Lent is all about.”

Listen to the conversation with Bishop Barron below:

A Closer Look airs weekdays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/3:00 p.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio®

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.