I attended a Catholic high school, and we had school mass once a month. That was back when I wasn’t really interested in my faith, so I wasn’t as excited as I should have been about going to mass.
I apparently was, however, paying enough attention that I still remember the Lenten meditation that we recited after communion during Lent each of the four years I was there. Well - I remember one line of it at any rate: Lent is the Church’s springtime. Lent is a time of reflection and growth. Lent leads us to Easter, and to new life. (I regret that I do not know where they got this reflection. If you do, please let me know so that I can give proper attribution.)
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that of all of the reflections for all of the liturgical seasons, that’s the one I remember. I also don’t think it’s any coincidence that Lent and spring coincide.
Lent is a good time to undertake some life simplification and spiritual spring cleaning. Removing the things that complicate your life also helps to remove the things that take your eye off Christ. I know that I find it much easier to sit down and pray when I’m not distracted by the clutter in my home - much less the “life clutter” that comes with drama.
One of the reasons that “spring cleaning” is undertaken in the spring is because for the first time in months, it not a bad idea to leave your doors and windows open. Before the days of air conditioning, the first warm days of spring meant that you could let a lot fresh air into your home for the first time in a while.
In those days, people would open doors and windows on the first warm, clear days of the year and do a lot of dusting, so that the breeze would waft in and carry the dust away. (You know, in the days before air conditioning and ionic breeze filters!)
How very good of the Lord to give us Lent and Spring at the same time. He encourages us first to open the windows to let a breath of the new life into our spiritual houses, and then to shake the dust from our apathy and get things really moving again.
We do a whole world of different kinds of things for Lent, but it really all comes back to this, we are doing what we can to open the doors and windows in our spiritual lives so that the Lord can breathe new life into it.