The Experience of Fasting for Lent

Gabriella Rodriguez-Sanchez, Reporter

Lent is a 40 day time period from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, excluding the Sundays in between, when many Christians participate in fasting and give up certain luxuries or habits, like smoking or drinking.


This is done to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s journey into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights of not eating. The Lenten sacrifice is a personal display of restraint and self-control. Some even decide to add a Lenten spiritual discipline, like reading a prayer, to draw themselves closer to God.


While fasting for Lent or giving up a habit may come easy for some, this proves challenging for others like junior Rebecca Workalemahu.


“It’s definitely been super hard,” Workalemahu said. “Especially during student council campaign week, people will bring in cookies or cupcakes, and I can’t eat any of that because I can’t eat dairy.”


Workalemahu said she does not have to participate in Lent but chooses to despite how easily she can decide not to.


“It takes a lot of self-control to see people eat the things that I can’t eat,” Workalemahu said. “I had a [Hershey’s] Kiss once and apparently that classifies under dairy but other than that, that’s the only time I’ve ever broken Lent.”


According to Workalemahu, Lent allows the opportunity to give up things that one may be addicted to.


“A lot of things that you do have a set schedule, and you’re addicted to things you don’t realize you’re addicted to,” Workalemahu said. “I learned I had an addiction to ice cream.”


Freshman Yaneli Gomez said Lent has been difficult for her as well, but she has been using it as a chance to do something she is supposed to do for her body and religion. She said she doesn’t know a lot of people that participate in Lent either.


“It’s something people think [isn’t] worth it,” Gomez said. “I just took it as an opportunity to benefit from it and not be so unhealthy.”


Gomez said she has a specific sacrifice she is making to fulfill her Lent and not everyone has been the most helpful.


“I’m not eating Hot Cheetos or hot sauce, so that’s really painful and tempting,” Gomez said. “My sister literally put a Hot Cheeto in my mouth and on my lips, so I had to spit it out.”


According to Gomez, Lent is something that is important in showing her devotion to God and his sacrifice.


“I thought that 40 days was something simple to do and it’s something he deserves,” Gomez said.