Lent as Nature's Timetable
Most of us understand Lent as a period of restriction and penance, where fasting is encouraged and perceived as a necessary step for the general preparation of Easter.
As Natures renews itself naturally, restriction is needed at the onstage of a new cycle, before we have the seedling, blooms, and fruits of the new coming Season.
Restriction and penance does not come from the direct need for the perfections of the spiritual, but because, at this time of the year, traditionally, the food reserves that over- wintered are low and we all need to adapt to it.
The observance of this Natural cycle by the old church gave birth to the tradition of restricting oneself of excesses.
The Inner Lent
This is a special period of greatness, as it was design to rehearse the cycle of rebirth, as the energies of creation return to animate the previous dormant elements of life.
To follow this practice, one can develop and deepen the understanding of fasting, not as a restriction period but as a period of self-reeducation and purification. The Quadragesima should be a period where one concentrates on correcting your own faults, mistakes, dependencies and short comings; a time to lay out all your new plans for the future and to align oneself with the Ki (or Chi) flow of nature that facilitates the process. It is time to celebrate the light, and make sustainable commitments to oneself: to “restrict” oneself from being too critical or judgmental; to clean oneself from resentments and forgive; to give up egotistical and limiting perspectives that just bring burden and worries into our lives; to change your mindset about a situation you may not be able to change; to celebrate one’s life with plenitude and truth.