US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Day 21. Joan Chittister, O.S.B.: A growing season

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Each day of Lent (minus Sundays) we'll bring you words of wisdom from spiritual guides.

21. Joan Chittister, O.S.B.: A growing season
Lent is not an event. It is not something that happens to us. It is at most a microcosm of what turns out to be a lifelong journey to the center of the self.

The purpose of Lent is to confront us with ourselves in a way that's conscious and purposeful, that enables us to deal with the rest of life well. It is not a "penitential season." It is a growing season. It requires us to determine what is worth dying for in our own lives and what it may be necessary for us to become if we really want to live. (National Catholic Reporter, Feb. 23, 2001)

Chittister is an Erie Benedictine sister, author, and lecturer.

Find spiritual advice for Lent from other guides in 40 days to a new you.