When you hear the word “Lent”, what comes to mind? One might think of a sacrifice for Jesus, who spent forty days and forty nights in a desert, tempted by opportunities that the devil pushed in His face. Do you see what is being pushed in your face? Ketrina Clemons, a junior at Mount de Sales Academy, strives to better herself through her Lenten experience. She, along with her family, aims toward a closer relationship with God by the time Easter arrives.
After being asked if she had any Fat Tuesday traditions, she explained that her parish celebrates the day a little differently. Her Church community gathers on the Friday before Fat Tuesday for a celebration. Ketrina serves pancakes and sausage to her fellow parishioners. Catholics do not eat meat on Fridays during Lent, so Ketrina clarified that this was the last Friday before Lent begins in which believers could eat meat. Her Church also follows a common tradition of placing a baby Jesus in a cake. Whoever would find the baby would be the queen/king of the day. The game would be played until two baby Jesus’ were found and they would have a queen and a king. In an attempt to sound like a baby, Ketrina said, “Who’s my Mary?”, showing that even little children love the fun tradition.
Diving into the season of Lent, Ketrina described that her family enters the challenges of Lent together. Her family follows the Catholic tradition of abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays. To my surprise, but fascination, Ketrina said that her family wakes up and prays the rosary together every morning. Not only does that strengthen her relationship with God, but also brings her closer to our Mother, Mary. She also fasts, gives, and prays in other ways. She fasts from social media, writes letters to her grandmother, and prays the divine mercy chaplet.
What does Lent mean to you? This question stumped Ketrina for a moment, but she quickly smiled and excitedly stated, “Lent is the most beautiful season to me because we are walking in the footsteps that Jesus gave us.” She loves seeing everyone so happy during this Lenten season.
Lastly, Ketrina shared that she has been growing closer in her relationship with God through her Lenten challenges because she is constantly remembering why she is participating in Lent. “If you’re not remembering why you’re doing it, then why do it?”. Ketrina moves to build her relationship with God and strives to become a more faithful Catholic as Lent continues and we approach Easter.