[quote="SMHW, post:19, topic:276342"]
Lent (for Western Christians) is the period of time that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. And yes, Sundays are very much part of Lent.
Lent is* NOT* 40 days. It is approximately 40 days. The Church does not definitively state that Lent is 40 days, regardless of what the devotional literature and songs say. Any attempt to figure out how to make Lent exactly 40 days ends up leading to absurd methods of computation.
That said, the Church tells us we should fast, pray, and give alms during Lent. The Church does not, however, tell us how *to fast or *how many days we should do so. We are free to indulge on Sundays and feast days or to continue to give up whatever we might have chosen to give up. If someone wishes to make sure that they give up something for exactly 40 days they are free to figure out how to make that work. If they don't care about the number 40 they are free to fast for however many days works for them.
A wrestler was once asked, "Is professional wrestling real?" He replied, "What do you mean by 'real'?" I think we are working with at least two different meanings for "Lent" -- one conservative and one liberal. There are those who want to make it up to suit themselves and others who can count the days. Unless there is a new rule [always a possibility with those who prefer relativism], 40=40 the last time I checked. Does scripture say the ancient Hebrews spent "approximately" 40 years in the wilderness? Does scripture say Jesus spent "approximately" 40 days fasting in the desert? Did he really "fast" and was it really a "desert"? Then again, if you begin counting from sundown [the beginning of the Hebrew day] to Sunday morning, the Passion/Resurrection wasn't three days; it was only 2 plus a fraction.