It’s important to remember that the word ‘Lent’ itself comes from the old English word for ‘spring’. It’s not about feeling gloomy for forty days; it’s not about making yourself miserable for forty days; it’s not even about giving things up for forty days. Lent is springtime. It’s preparing for that great climax of springtime which is Easter—new life bursting through death. And as we prepare ourselves for Easter during these days, by prayer and by self-denial, what motivates us and what fills the horizon is not self-denial as an end in itself but trying to sweep and clean the room of our own minds and hearts so that the new life really may have room to come in and take over and transform us at Easter.
Ash Wednesday marks the end of most Carnival celebrations around the world. On Ash Wednesday, or the first day of Lent, Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran Christians place ashes on their foreheads as a reminder of human mortality. In many countries, such as Mexico, Chile, the Philippines, Italy and the United States, millions of observers flock to local churches to receive ashes from their priests. Despite its huge Catholic population, the vast majority of Brazilians do not formally observe Ash Wednesday, as many Carnival celebrations continue through Ash Wednesday and only cease at the end of the week.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s triennial international survey compared test scores from 65 countries. Happiness was ranked based on the percentage of students who agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel happy at school.” Test scores were ranked based on the combined individual rankings of the students’ math, reading, and science scores.
Of general interest?
“Follow the voice of your heart, even if it leads you off the path of timid souls. Do not become hard and embittered, even if life tortures you at times. There is only one thing that counts: to live one’s life well and happily…”
No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.