Lent begins on February 14th. The calendar has a sense of humor this year starting Lent on Valentines Day and having Easter fall on April 1st (April Fool’s Day). The date of Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of spring. Therefore, Easter moves around and occasionally we get these clashes with popular culture. Nevertheless, it’s time to plan for Lent.
Ash Wednesday services will be at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM as always. Ash Wednesday also is a day of fast and abstinence from meat. Perhaps you can plan your Valentines celebration before or after Ash Wednesday and avoid the crowds.
A Plan for Lent is the more important thing to consider at this time. The goal for Lent is to make some real change in our life that brings us closer to God and a more loving person. Your Lenten practice might be some temporary practice such as using one of the Lenten meditation guides in your prayer, or reading a whole Gospel or some other practice. Yet the goal is for growth in your life and relationship with God that endures after Lent. So consider what are obstacles to growing closer to God in your life? How might your Lenten practices begin to tackle those obstacles? Secondly, what direction are you being led through positive desires to love God and help other people? How might you act on those positive desires during this Lenten season? I suggest you pray on both these obstacles to growth and positive desires in the next couple of weeks so God can lead you to a fruitful Lent.