Monday, March 20th marked the first day of Spring.
But Tuesday, March 21st marks the halfway point of Lent, the 40-day religious period that runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. It’s a time where those of the Christian faith devote themselves to fasting, abstinence, and penitence
But it's also treated as a second wind for your failed New Year’s resolution.
So, because Los Angeles is one of the top three most heavily Catholic cities in the nation, Take Two checked in with some listeners about what they’ve given up for lent and what this period means for them:
Shana Wright, Los Angeles
"I regularly participate in Lent as a way to renew, restore my desire for God's grace, mercy, forgiveness.
This year I gave up pouring over news articles featuring the goings-on in our nation's capitol. In other words, I've kept myself from reading those articles and op-eds that have the potential to distract and frustrate and even stress me out.
I hope that this will help me to put aside my fear and misgivings and maybe after 40 days even be a better voice of peace."
Marco Rodas, Los Angeles
"After I had my own children and trying to be a good example to them, their mother and I did practice Lent more consistently but it was not for religious reasons, at least not for me.
For me, it was more cultural. You know, it was the whole family going to Ash Wednesday, we would all disclose what we'd be giving up. We would encourage each other or tease each other for not sticking with it.
I used to give up meat or coffee for Lent, when I used to go to church. Now, I've given up anger in my life...that blind anger, that feeling that comes from fear, yeah...that's behind me....
Finding inner peace is what I strive for. Not only at the end of Lent but throughout my life."
Charis Hill, Sacramento
"It helps me with my spirituality, it brings me closer to my belief that we are all one big human family and my role as a Christian is to use Lent as a period of time where I'm able to be more introspective.
As someone with a severe inflammatory disease that will never go away, it's a progressive degenerative disease...all of my decisions about taking care of myself and being spiritual are affected and influenced by my health and so Lent is a time where I'm also sort of reminded of all the things I don't have.
I don't have my health. I don't have financial stability. But Lent is a time where the playing field is leveled...it seems like for me. Where people pay attention to those parts of themselves that can be nurtured and grown to make us more whole people.
So during Lent, I feel a part of the human family, even stronger than I usually do."
To listen to the full segment, click the blue play button above.