Dan Rooney – Class of 2015
What are your memories of lent from your youth? How do they affect how you observe lent today?
When I was growing up, Lent was a time where you could not eat meat on Fridays, gave up something to see if you could last forty days without it, and where you could not sing Alleluia in church. At my grammar school, St. John Fisher, I vividly remember how we dealt with the latter most problem, not singing at the Alleluia at mass. For the Ash Wednesday service, eighth graders, who planned most masses at St. John Fisher, made a large banner with ALLELUIA in big block letters taking up the whole banner. Then, after explaining that we cannot sing the Alleluia in church and why we could not, placed the banner in the box. During the prayer service preceding the Easter break, they pulled the banner out of the box, symbolizing the joy that would happen that sunday.
Today, I try to observe lent as intently as possible. At least once a week, I try to set aside more time to pray. During lent, I try to pray the whole rosary at least once a week. If I ever have a day off from school during lent, I like to, instead of sleeping in, wake up early and attend 8:15 morning mass at St. John Fisher. I am going to try this year to attend mass at Brother Rice, which they have every Wednesday. I may not be able to go every week, but I will try to do go as much as possible.
During lent, I enjoy stepping back, and really looking at where I am spiritually. I try to spend as much time as I can alone in prayer, and also in church. While life remains busy during lent, I try to slow down and spend more time devoting myself to God. Lent is meant to give you time to be able to find God in yourself, and I plan on taking as much time as I can give.
Brendan Ferguson – Class of 2015
As a youth at school our teachers had us give something up for Lent for forty days. As told for Lent you were to give up something for forty days before Easter. This was done because of the forty days Jesus was stranded in the desert. We would have to give something that we would use everyday that wasn’t necessary for life such as: pop, video games, tv, gum, etc. As a kid most kids would try to give up something like that but they would usually use something they use a lot but not all the time so it wasn’t that difficult for them.
How do I see Lent today? I see Lent definitely not the same as I did as child, I’ve grown to see that Lent is not just about giving something up for forty days. Even though you are to give something up but Lent is also about helping out and doing good things also. I do now give up something difficult for me to not use and don’t use it at all during the forty days of Lent.
Alex Nemeh – Class of 2015
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a day that “brings us back to our roots” by symbolically blessing our foreheads with ashes. This symbolizes how evolved the human race has developed and how we should always remember where we came from. Phones and other technology often sidetrack us and keep us busy. Most modern people (especially teenagers) rarely find time to enjoy aspects of life such as nature or simple conversation. By giving up my phone for Lent, I will have more time to appreciate these things and the simplicity and beauty of the gift of life itself.
The concept of sacrifice is innate in the Season of Lent in that God sent his only Son to sacrifice his life for us and to become one of us so that we could connect more personally with him. Us humans also have to make sacrifices in life to become successful and to achieve goals. Thus, giving up my phone for Lent will benefit me personally because I will be able to focus more on my studies in school (specifically my anatomy book as I plan to study biology in college) and will have more free time and leisure to read on topics that interest me. Also, this sacrifice will pay off in the end for many other reasons: better sleep, more prayer time and more personal interactions.
Luke Wolf – Class of 2015
Lent is the 6 weeks in which we remember when Jesus Christ gave his life for all of us. When I think of the lent the first thing that comes to mind is Easter Sunday. This Sunday is the most celebrated Sunday in the 52 weeks of the year because we remember what Jesus did for us and how he gave his life for us. Lent reminds me of a play from 8th grade when I played the role of Jesus in the Stations of the Cross. It means a lot to me and everytime lent comes around it makes me think of that play.
Every year at St. Symphorosa the 8th grade class performs the Stations of the Cross. When we first discussed the play I didn’t have much interest in it and didn’t want a major role in it. When the day of distributing roles a fellow classmate recommended me to play the main role of Jesus. At first I said no because it was a huge responsibility and all eyes would be on me throughout the whole play. When my teacher asked who wanted to be Jesus my classmate patted my back and I raised my hand to take on the role of Jesus.
After all the practices and the two shows I was surprisingly glad I had the role of Jesus and thanked my friend for encouraging me to volunteer myself. It was an experience like no other, being in the same shoes of Jesus. Not exactly feeling what he felt going through the stations, but just imagining what would actually happen if I was about to be crucified really changed my view on everything. I finally realized how brave and outgoing Jesus was and what he went through, just to receive hate from non followers and respond with love and understand is truly amazing.