Taking Lent Beyond Easter

Jesus carrying the cross by El GrecoI have always enjoyed Lent, even the fasting side of it. It’s much easier to be appreciative of the feasting when we’ve also experienced the fasting. However, we must never forget the main purpose of Lent, which is to become spiritually stronger and a better Christian overall.

So, as Lent winds down, it may be helpful to look at ways you can take your Lenten experience beyond Easter and actually integrate it into your life. While I don’t think the fasting should continue through Easter (Easter is a time of celebration, so celebrate), the spiritual ideals we’ve practiced certainly should. Here are a few ways to integrate your Lenten experience into your everyday spiritual life.

First, write down what you got out of Lent 2013 and what practices worked to make you a better person. I have had many fruitful Lenten experiences and guess what? I don’t even remember the details! So, before Lent is over, keep a log of helpful practices, thoughts, and ideas. Then, periodically throughout the year, go back to your journal. Make sure you continue what has been a blessing to you.

Second, return to fasting when Easter is over. While the Catholic Church requires Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as fast days, there is nothing stopping you from fasting other days of the year (although Sundays and other holy days are always feasts). Fasting is a good practice that we too often forget outside of Lent. Pick a day throughout the week a few other times a year and fast. I try to fast at least once in the summer, winter, and fall (Lent falls in the spring).

Finally, keep it simple. I have always found the simplicity of Lent to be very spiritually satisfying. It forces me to be a little more rugged and sparse. The lives of most people are chaotic and leave little time for rest and contemplation. Whatever your Lenten discipline, your life was likely more simplistic and more focused on your spiritual life. Make an effort to keep this going.

I wish you a blessed rest of Lent and beyond. Whatever you’ve accomplished, I pray you can continue it throughout the rest of the year and be continually serving God and having a blessed spiritual life.

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother David. The site gets over one million visitors a year. His writings have also appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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