Lent time of sacrifice, improvement

By Joshua Lucero
Staff writer
jlucero@pntonline.com
With Easter around the corner, citizens of Clovis and Portales are preparing themselves to receive the glory of God and giving up their worldly pleasures.

For 40 days, from Feb. 18 until April 2, followers of Christ give up vices, sweets, and more in an effort to bring themselves closer to God and deepen their faith during Lent.

Joshua Lucero: staff photo Alter servers assist with the Stations of the Cross Friday evening as part of the season of Lent at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Portales. Observers of Lent give up their worldly pleasures during the season of Lent to bring themselves closer to God.

Joshua Lucero: staff photo
Alter servers assist with the Stations of the Cross Friday evening as part of the season of Lent at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Portales. Observers of Lent give up their worldly pleasures during the season of Lent to bring themselves closer to God.

Christian believers have been practicing Lent in one form or another since before A.D. 313, according to catholiceducation.org.

Giving up worldly pleasures isn’t the only way to get closer to God, according to Eastern New Mexico University assistant professor of political science and devout Catholic Steve Brust.

Brust said that in addition to giving up a couple of vices and ice cream, he has made it a point to dedicate time to doing positive things for others as part of his 40 days of Lent.

He said performing positive and charitable actions is just as important as the things Lent observers give up during the season of Lent.

“Basically Lent is 40 days of preparation before Easter. You go through it as a spiritual renewal and become closer to Christ through fasting, prayer, and almsgiving,” Brust said.

Brust said that Lent is a season in the life of the church and brings those who participate closer to Christ by imitating the fasting he went through in the desert before beginning his ministry.

The imitation of Christ’s fasting is a time to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, life, death, burial and resurrection.

“It’s always good for people to deepen their faith,” Brust said of Lent.

The 40 days of Lent is a way for followers of Christ to practice spiritual self-discipline, according to Brust.

He said having the church members and priest around helps him get through the season of Lent.

Brust said keeping up with how other church members’ Lent fasting is going helps to keep Lent observers on track.

“A lot of times you aren’t making it (through the season of Lent,” Brust said. “The beauty of it is, we can come back to Christ to ask for help and for the grace to do it.”

Brust said during Lent he aims to be receptive and able to act on God’s grace.