The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M starting pitcher/relief pitcher Emiley Kennedy (11) hands the ball to starting pitcher/relief pitcher Brooke Vestal (19) during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ comeback falls short in 9-8 loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 25, 2024

As the fifth inning drew to a close in Texas A&M softball’s Super Regional matchup with No. 1 Texas on Saturday, the Aggies found themselves...

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Mark your heart, not just your forehead

Photo+by+Allison+BradshawPrayer+and+interior+reflection+can+give+a+deeper+appreciation+for+the+spirituality+that+surrounds+Lent+and+Easter.%26%23160%3B

Photo by Allison Bradshaw

Prayer and interior reflection can give a deeper appreciation for the spirituality that surrounds Lent and Easter.

 

I tried to give up TV once for Lent — it did not end well. Other times I settled to give up the usual suspects, and candy, soda and pizza all took their turn. Lent was 40 days of less sugar and more fish, capped by an Easter holiday whose joy was more culinary than religious.
I spent my Catholic childhood listening to the same story again and again — Christ is risen, we are saved, Easter is the most important day of the spiritual year — but I never connected it with the joy of the Christmas season, or with the beauty of the ordinary Catholic Liturgy. To me, Easter was an empty religious obligation marked by trivial sacrifice.
I wanted more, but I was unsure of what “more” meant until I stumbled across a book given to me as a toddler. I would tag along with my mom on her weekend errands, and in one shop I was fascinated by a blue pocket-sized book with gold lettering. Something about the shape and color was so new to my young mind that I refused to put it down, and my incessant crying forced my exasperated mom to buy it and move on. It gathered dust for years until it again caught my eye in high school several days before Ash Wednesday.
“My Imitation of Christ” is a book of meditations written in the 15th century. The first day of Lent I read the first few pages and threw it back into its drawer. The contents were very surprising to someone who believed in God, but who had expressed that faith only in the comfort of teen youth groups and social retreats. “Imitations” instead calls for the reader to be a “daily sacrifice to Christ,” to “learn to break thy own will” and “give thyself to the interior.” It was a radical message that went against the grain of my everyday life, and I came close to ending my Lenten promise quicker than I returned to TV all those years ago.
I kept reading, though, and as the weeks rolled by those words slowly grew on my mind. I would start and end every day with a new passage and personal meditation. It took 15 minutes, but nothing changed my spiritual life so deeply. Rich interior reflection is an experience that translates into a deeper understanding of service, and sacrifice. I had found meaning in Lent, and I finally understood the joy of Easter.
Lent is too often viewed as a season of material sacrifice when it should be a time of personal spiritual growth. You have 40 days to prepare for the most important day of the Christian year. The season begins with a very physical sign — ashes, in the shape of the cross, adorning the forehead — but the true meaning of Lent is found in ways to keep that sign marked on your heart long after the ash washes away.
John Rangel is an aerospace engineering junior and Science & Technology editor for The Battalion.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *