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Do you know what Lent is all about?

What is Lent all about? Why do Catholics give things up in Lent? Where is Lent in the Bible? If you were asked these questions by a friend, what would you say?

Rebecca Bretherton, diocesan coordinator for evangelisation, admits: “When I was first asked questions by a friend who saw the Ash Wednesday ashes on my forehead, I fumbled with my words. I knew the answer but struggled to explain.

“I learned that sharing God’s Good News of our salvation isn’t usually about grand speeches. Far more often, we are given the opportunity when chatting with a friend. These moments come when we aren’t expecting them. We don’t need a fancy answer but we should give an answer.  

“We can explain some of the richness of the season of Lent and how it helps us to follow Jesus Christ throughout the year. Our gentle answer may become God’s invitation for them to share everlasting life with Him too.

“A little preparation and some ideas ‘up our sleeves’ mean we will be able to speak even when we are not expecting the question. Then, rather than waiting for the question, we can start the conversation.”

This year there are several online resources to help us:

The God Who Speaks is a project run by the Catholic Church in England and Wales in collaboration with The Bible Society. There are handy articles on Lent on The God Who Speaks website and the Bible Society website.

Ash Wednesday picture by  Mazur/