Darren Chan, 19, asks his friends what the season means to them

Cutting down on computer games
Lent is a time when we are reminded of Christ’s death on the cross for us, and when we go about relinquishing some of our luxuries.

I play computer games a lot less often, and spend more time reading the news, magazines, and being with friends. I also pray the rosary more often and am more proactive with house work, trying to make that a habit.

Doing activities that add more value to my life and to the lives of others makes me feel good (although I’m really itching to play games).

On a side note, I find it quite amusing that some of the public get shocked by the sight of so many people having a cross mark on their foreheads. Rather, I feel that it is a sign of repentance to God and a lead-up to Lent.

Bryce Chee, 19,
Church of the Holy Spirit
More brotherly patience
I think that prayer and fasting really help to make us think about all our past wrongdoings and change. From my experience, I am quite impatient with my younger brothers. I find it hard to satisfy their needs, often shouting at them or starting an argument.

For this Lent, I am trying to be patient with them and my friends around me.

I have also made a short list of prayers and sacrifices that I could do. They include going to the chapel for 10 minutes every day, going for Friday morning Mass in school, and not eating chocolate and ice cream. I feel these practices make me think about others who suffer more than me, so I also become more selfless.

John Marie Tan, 15,
Church of the Holy Spirit

Doing more voluntary work
This is a season to reflect on our lives. During this period, prayer and fasting help us better prepare for a more worthy reception of the graces from our Jesus.

Lent is also a time of testing. Jesus was out in the wildness for 40 days praying to His Father, preparing for what was to come. That was also when Satan came with many temptations. From this, we can see that Jesus was determined to strengthen His duty to save us.

During Lent, I will refrain from eating meat on Friday and will pray twice daily. In addition, I try to do more voluntary work such as helping out with charity organisations and donation drives.

I hope to be able to strengthen my faith in God and understand more about His mysteries as I undertake these practices.

Bernard Lee, 19,
Church of the Sacred Heart

Giving up sugared drinks
Before we actually see Jesus’ suffering on the cross, we too ourselves must experience a time of suffering to understand what God has given to us.

Usually, what I would give up for Lent is something that is not really good for me but which I like a lot, for example sugared drinks. Normally, I would take one bottle a day or maybe two to three cans a day. I would now take plain water.

I also plan to quarrel less with family members and spend less time on Twitter.

These practices do help. In previous years, I used to go out with my friends a lot. But during Lent, I realised that I had been spending less time with my family. I am now able to balance time with family and friends a lot better.

Benedict Nicholas Chan, 18,
Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

A time of recollection
Lent is a time of recollection for me; a time to take a step back and find God in my life. It is also a time of waiting for the promise of resurrection: of Easter!

Hailing Jesus physically with palms and words is easy. However being prepared internally with the appropriate disposition, worthy of God’s reception, is what we all strive for.

I believe that fasting and abstinence are a higher form of prayer (as opposed to verbal prayer). They take effort on our part and one feels a small degree of accomplishment. In depriving oneself of one’s earthly wants (and sometimes needs), one can further one’s communion with Christ.

Joseph Faustine Victor Tan, 19,
Church of St Ignatius (De Vita Christi Youth Choir)

Abstaining from meat
Lent is an important period of time to me. It is the time when I pray for penance and repent for all my sins and misdeeds through prayer and fasting.

During Lent, I will refrain from meat on Fridays and also attend weekday evening Masses.

These practices help me to keep calm and seek penance during this period.

Benjamin Lee, 19, Church of the Sacred Heart

More family time
Lent is a journey of sacrifice and finding yourself spiritually in prayer and reflection. However, it is not simply about praying but also facing our true selves and repenting of our sins.

Through the small positive actions that we do every day, we are journeying together with Jesus. To me, I start from the small things everyday to make it through the 40 days.

During this time, my family and I make it a point to have more quality family time, like eating a meal together and being more forgiving when we make mistakes.

I try to make positive choices such as being more patient and understanding towards people and not getting worked up when things do not go according to my own preference.

Also during this Lent, I plan to do more good, and being more kind and compassionate to the people around me.

I will also make it a point to read the Bible more often and reflect on the readings.

When I face temptations, I know that I am being guided by the Holy Spirit who will help me through this difficult journey.

Darren Chan, 19,
Church of the Holy Spirit

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