On March 6th, 2019, students and faculty at Clearwater Central Catholic could be seen filing into the Performing Arts Center for Ash Wednesday Mass. There, people lined up to bemarked by a cross of ashes, displayed prominently on his or her forehead, in a ritual which itself marked the beginning of the Liturgical Season known as Lent.

Now in the midst of this 40-day countdown to Easter, we are all urged to take the time to reflect on our characters and on our everyday actions, striving to eliminate whatever it is that
hardens our hearts in the face of God. Reconciliation, though it grants us the opportunity to turn back to God—to be reborn out of our ashes—can only be a start. From there, not only must we
stop indulging our negative emotions and bad habits, but we must also start giving more to world. As the AT&T commercials say, “Just OK is not OK.” As Catholics, we don’t just want to “not be bad.” We want to be more than that. We want to be good.

The thing most people forget, however, is that though Lent is a time of praying, fasting, and almsgiving, so is every other time of the year; this fact alone is what creates the necessity for the season. As humans, we all struggle, and much of the time, we lose sight of where we are supposed to go. Being able to continuously reflect on our lives is ideal, but not entirely realistic—especially in this day and age. As such, giving ourselves the short-term period, by which we prepare for Easter, allows us to better focus our efforts. During Lent, we work hard so that by the end of that time, our bad habits will have transformed into good ones and our hearts will have become fully open to God, ensuring our rebirth from the ashes once and for all.