from the Middle English word "lenten,"
"Yet whatever else it may be, Lent should never be morose -- an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. Instead, we ought to approach Lent as an opportunity, not a requirement. After all, it is meant to be the Church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges...
Put another way, Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In Him -- in His suffering and death, His resurrection and triumph -- we find our truest joy."
From the introduction to Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter