It is appropriate timing, said Father Paul Hruby of Incarnation
"It is a special time for considering not only the need of
personal conversion, but of conversion for hearts that are hardened
throughout the world," he said.
The word "Lent" has its roots in the English language, and means
"springtime." It is a period of spring cleaning for Christians as
they prepare for the Easter celebration of the Lord, Hruby said.
Lent is a 40-day period that began Wednesday -- Ash Wednesday --
and ending with Easter. It is traditionally marked by the
alms-giving, fasting and prayer of Christians. It is modeled after
the 40 days Jesus Christ spent in the desert.
According to Roman Catholic teaching, the time is meant to renew
Roman Catholic tradition also teaches Christians should fast Ash
Wednesday and Good Friday, and eat no red meat the Fridays of Lent.
But emphasis is also placed on giving of oneself to others during
the season, something about 200 students at Flintridge Sacred Heart
Academy in La Canada Flintridge decided to do earlier this week.
Members of the school group Christian Action Movement participated
in a 30-hour fast to raise money for those in need. Students either
modified their diet or gave up food completely, save for a few
snacks, to raise money for World Vision, an organization that
distributes the money to charity.
The fasting started Tuesday night after dinner, and lasted until
"It gives you a mental awareness of what it's like to not have
access to food," said Vice President Misa Nuccio.
The girls get sponsorships to raise the money. The fast, called
30-Hour Famine, is something the group has been participating in for
They have raised as much as $2,000 for hunger.