The martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero in his Lenten homilies pointed out the difference between the fasting of the wealthy and the constant hunger of those who are poor: "For those who eat well, Lent is a call to austerity, a call to give away in order to share with those in need.
Before all else then, the fasting we do in Lent is about this love for the poor and thus the hunger for justice to be done.
There is the truth that some of us may need to hear: Lent isn't about suffering; it is about freedom.
Lent is so important that in our tradition we have a short warm-up built into it.
Then, once we come to the first Sunday of Lent, we're into it with full force for 40 days.
Use the warm-up period to move into Lent with realism and depth, not vague or overambitious resolutions.
Perhaps the most unusual thing to give up for Lent, however, is to give up the very act of "giving things up.
Whenever I gave up chocolate for Lent, I OD'd on Fannie Farmer chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday and got a queasy stomach and cavities.
So instead of dreading Lent, Cueto wonders what life would be like if Christians didn't have Lent each year.
Each Lent she'd have the students draw and color their own stations.
Lent is the most important season of the liturgical calendar for me.
As much as it can be difficult, I look forward to the season of Lent.