Teachers and students are enjoying Lent so far and trying to give back.
“Lent for me is a time to step aside from what I normally do and to just focus on the love of God in my life,” Fr. Chris Drennen, OSA, said.
Drennen thinks that some people take Lent the wrong way.
“Lent is sometimes miserable for people because they are giving something up,” he said. “But I think Lent is a time of receiving the Lord and God’s grace a little bit deeper.”
Junior MECO Leader Luke Gabriel is not miserable from giving something up.
“This Lent has been different,” Gabriel said. Luke has not given up anything for Lent rather he has added something extra to help other people.
“Students should look inside themselves,” Gabriel said. “Instead of thinking about something that they could give up for forty days.”
Like Gabriel, Theology Teacher Mr. David Zagursky has not given up anything, following the words of Fr. Thomas Meehan, OSA, in a chapel service at the beginning of Lent.
“This Lent I did not give up anything although most times I do,” Zagursky said. “Instead, I have been trying to talk to people who oftentimes I fail to.”
To be more present for people who matter in his life, Zagursky said he may simply send a text message to them.
Zagursky believes that spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament is a key component to students’ preparation for remembering Jesus’ passion.
“Students should try to do something different, something out of the ordinary, something like spending a moment or two in the chapel during a study hall or lunch period,” he said.
Assistant Campus Minister and Theology Teacher Mr. Alex Haynie agrees with Mr. Zagursky on the ways students can prepare for Easter.
“Students should reflect as much as they can, set aside time for prayer, and try to stop in the chapel if they can,” Haynie said.
Haynie loves Lent and thinks that it brings a sense of unity.
“We as a Christian community [and] Easter people try hard to improve ourselves spiritually, cognizant of our spiritual practices,” he said.
Freshman Tom Park feels that he has improved spiritually.
“Lent has changed my spiritual relationship with God,” Park said. “So it has been pretty successful.”
Park thinks that students can pray to God to prepare for the season. Malvern has masses each Friday in Lent for the same reason.
“There is nothing better than our Friday masses,” senior MECO Leader Ian Murray said. “They definitely get you in the mood and in the spirit of the season.”
Murray likes how Lent brings focus.
“If you’re not focused or in your spiritual realm, then Lent will pull you back into that realm and get you more focused on what you need to do,” he said.
This year, the priests have stressed to give back to society during Chapel on Monday mornings.
“It’s important to do things for other people,” Murray said. “On Father Duffy Day, everyone was giving back and that is something that should be going on all year long not just during Lent.”
“I am a sinner,” Zagursky said. “This reality should persuade all sinners to run to Jesus and embrace Him because He is mercy and Jesus wants to extend that mercy to us.”
Drennen agrees with Zagursky on God’s mercy.
“We have the life of God within us,” Father Drennen said.
At Malvern, each person has their own unique way of preparing for Lent.
“We try to do different things to remind people of God’s love,” Drennen said. “We do the Friday masses and we put the cross up next to the Mary statue by the middle school as a physical reminder of the passion of the Lord.”
Lent is the time to prepare ourselves for Easter.
“Lent should be a happy time because we get to grow closer to God and it points us toward Easter, when we celebrate that we have freedom over death and sin,” Father Drennen said.