An Awka Diocesan Catholic priest and the assistant Cathedral Administrator II of St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Awka, Rev Fr. Polycarp Okoye, has described Lenten Season as a spiritual period during which the faithful re-enact the 40 days and 40 nights' desert experience of Jesus Christ.
Rev Fr. Okoye, who stated this in his homily of the concelebrated Holy Mass of Ash Wednesday on February 14, 2018 at St Patrick's Cathedral Church, Awka, noted Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the Church's spiritual journey of lent.
He stated that it was due to the importance of the spiritual journey of lent in the lives of the faithful, that the Holy Mother Church emphasized the need for all to in the Lenten Season and beyond, uphold prayer, fasting and almsgiving which were the three pillars of lent.
The Catholic priest advised Christians against over exaggerating their ego over things they were expected to achieve, but in the Lenten Season, and always, spend their lives in prayer, fasting and almsgiving for that desired spiritual wellbeing.
According to the priest, prayer uplifts the spirit of the faithful, almsgiving weakens their attachment to worldly things, and fasting weakens their worldly desires.
On the Valentine Day which coincided with the Ash Wednesday, Rev Fr. Okoye noted that there was lent in valentine. He noted that Valentine was love, and there was no expression of love without Jesus Christ, who is love Himself.
The priest maintained that there was no love greater than that which Jesus Christ demonstrated with His life on the cross of Calvary. He urged all to be more focused in Jesus Christ, who is love in the Valentine Celebration.
Speaking on the importance of the ash to the people of God, Fr. Okoye said ash signified true repentance, and man's readiness to return to God the father. He tasked all on lives of humility and selflessness as mere mortals, saying that ash reminded all that they were mere dust, and unto dust they would return.