Experts say it takes 40 days to undo a bad habit. Now let’s see, today is Ash Wednesday and Lent lasts exactly 40 days. Many people pick an indulgence or habit that’s not good for them to give up during Lent. I’d say that’s enough time to kick the habit completely.
Contrary to popular belief, Lent, while a solemn season, doesn’t mean gloomy. I use to dread Lent. Now I look forward to it. Lent is a good time to work on personal weaknesses. Every year, I make optimistic New Year’s resolutions, like losing weight, eating healthier and working out, but that mostly focuses on the outer me. With Lent, I focus on the inner me and so Lent has become my New Year’s.
If you see people walking around today with black ashes on their forehead, it’s probably not because they were cleaning the fireplace or grill. Since childhood, getting my forehead rubbed with ashes in the shape of a cross always sets the tone for the Lenten season as the priest impresses them on me and says, “To ashes you came and to ashes you will return.”
While that may sound gloomy, the words of one of my favorite speakers, Father John Corapi comes to mind. He says, “Good Friday always comes before Easter Sunday.”