Lent really is a unique time of year. There seems to be something renewing in it. It's a time to unload many things in our lives that have become burdesome. The whole role of confession and preparation for redemption gives us a chance to start over again if we use the opportunity. It's a time to think of sacrifice, of the needs of others, of the goodness of God. We are challenged a bit to unload the superfluous in our daily routine and turn a little more to things that are very important - the things of the soul and of the heart.How very pastoral, in the good sense of the word, is that? Lots of "mustard seed" imagery: "a bit", "a little more", "stumble". It encourages you to try because it makes it manageable.
[Lent] is an invitation to walk with Christ for a few weeks and end up closer to Him on the feast of the Resurrection. Even if we stumble along rather than really walk, even that will get us further than we were when it all began.
A couple images deeply reasonate from other sources. One is that Lent is a tithe of our year to God. How reasonable to give God a tenth of our year! Second is that this is a "season of grace". I heard that for the first time a couple years back and it struck a chord.
The first week is bracing and exciting. Later Lent less so, for me at least. If we dread Purgatory and to a lesser extent Lent, perhaps the former is like the first week of Lent - dread beforehand until you actually get into it, when it feels medicinal and health-restoring. I'm sure there are souls who welcome Purgatory but I suspect they are the ones who go directly to Heaven! :-)