This was a new concept to me. I confess that my memories of Lent, colored by parochial school, are far from "gentle." We were marched into chapel each Friday and seated with older students (ostensibly to encourage us to listen more carefully) to observe the stations of the cross. I remember boredom; I remember standing and kneeling for what seemed like hours. I remember dreading Friday afternoons and the loss of chocolate for 40 days. I do not remember gentleness.
I confess that I am apt to become enamored with the kinder, gentler view of Lent: this is the view that teaches us to be introspective and contemplative. This is the view that values silence and prayer. This is the view that encourages quality of relationship over quantity of religious practice.
May we all enjoy the gentleness of God and each other this Lenten season.