Lent is the 40 days before Easter, and is designated by the Catholic Church as a period of spiritual renewal, a time to prepare to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. The purpose of lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, spiritual growth, conversion and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the german word Lenz – springtime, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning.
Contrary to popular opinion it’s not a time of penance, but the Church does ask that people avoid meats out of respect for Jesus’s sacrifice on the Cross, and to share the hardships of the poor. Bavarian monks decided centuries ago that drinking highly alcoholic beer (Starkbier) helped their fasting – and made them feel good too. The Bavarian answer to lent – liquid bread – made some monks survive the 46 days just with beer! Oh God!