Lent is our annual opportunity to refresh the spiritual dimension of our existence and to renew our identity as persons baptized in Christ. It starts each year sometime in the dark midst of Winter but ends in Spring, when our seemingly dormant world brightens and again comes to life. During this time we experience the core cycle of our faith in all of our senses – the cycle thru Death to Resurrection. What we see and hear, touch, smell and taste enables us to know that something new is happening. Earth will continue to warm us and feed us, but we ourselves must tend with care to bring forth that boon.
Lent is an extended time when we are challenged to do the same with the spirit God has breathed into our bodies. We are to 'repent' over a period of 40 days. We are summoned to once again align our values, attitudes, and behaviors with those of Christ. During this time of conversion we pay special attention to the "sensual dimensions" of Scripture – the dimension that appeals to entire incarnate being – and we can see God's summons to new life reflected in creation itself. Of course, that means seeing with the eyes of faith, and in its call to ecological and social repentance, Laudato Si' itself also calls us to a change of our way of seeing our world and appreciating it, a change in mind and in heart.
Chapter 3 of Pope Francis' call to Care for our Common Home lifts up a particular dimension of this opportunity that lent affords to amend our mindset: Are we helping or hurting the environment – and so ourselves – by the way we think and live?