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Lakkisetti Praveen, Hyderabad says,
Renounce to Regain (Spirituality of Lent)
By Lakkisetti Praveen
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Hyderabad, Feb. 23. The season of Lent, a season of Grace is at our spiritual door step again. The aftermath of the financial breakdown and the bankruptcy of the entire world economy make rather a meaningful reflection as we go to begin the season of Lent. Holy Mother the Church invites all of us to rethink of our spiritual lives and calls us to a life of renunciation during the season of Lent.

Winston Churchill once said ``we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.`` This is what precisely the feast of Christmas expects from us. A nature of generous giving adds beauty to the Christmas joy. Season of Lent, on the other hand, takes a step further and urges us to `Renounce.` This presupposes, more than material detachment, a sort of spiritual affinity with the Divine. Prophet Joel gives a clarion call when he says ``yet even now, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments.`` (Joel 2:12, 13)

The Church invites all of us and focuses our attention on three elements of our life: prayer, fasting and alms giving. These three would determine our material fullness and spiritual aridity. One becomes spiritually fertile once the material detachment is given priority. Needless to say, Jesus stands as the perfect example in this regard. The total renouncement of the temptations of the world (Luke 27: 45 - 49) is indeed the evident examples. These made Jesus win over death and forever enjoy the Father`s glory.

For us to fast, endure suffering and to renounce, the power is gained through prayer. Buddhist philosophy of `momentariness`, `kshanikavada`  goes along with the Christian spirituality of renouncement i.e., dying to one`s sin in this temporal world. This would pave way for us to enjoy the insurmountable graces of God, as Christ rose from the dead to give us life, `life in all its fullness.` (John 10:10) When we renounce the material world, we stand to gain a whole lot in the presence of Jesus Christ. May the season of Lent draw us closer to God our Father.
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