Ash Wednesday Heralds Lent, A Time of Reflection
By Shawn Proctor
Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of prayer and penance that prepares for and signals the coming of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. It celebrates the redemption of all people made possible by Jesus’ sacrifice.
For many Christians, Lent is a time to give up something, most often a vice like chocolate or even social media. Others fast or donate their meals to the less fortunate. But whether you cut out Hershey’s bars or posting on TikTok, the real goal is to devote more completely to faith and reflect on your connection to God.
“The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning all of humanity from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia)
Each year since 2019, Villanova’s Office of Mission and Ministry has offered Lenten reflections written by faculty, staff, and students. These collections are personal glimpses into the University’s Augustinian Catholic community and inspiration for your own Lenten practice.
Additionally, Falvey Library has many relevant holdings, some of which are noted in stories already posted on the website.
In expanding on the theme of reading as a form of reflection, we add to these offerings Show me the way: Readings for each day of Lent by Henri J. M. Nouwen. It traces his 40-day journey from solemn beginning to joyous Easter conclusion. The physical copy of the book is available in the stacks, can be reserved for Pick Up & Go, or requested for partial scanning.
Shawn Proctor is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Library.