IKoi Kiki saw this story on the BBC News website and thought you should see it.

** In pictures: Rio carnival **
Brazil’s colourful carnival parades kick off in Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome. < http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/world-latin-america-17092934 >

** BBC Daily E-mail **
Again another Carnival without me. Every year I’m surprised by Ash Wednesday…
Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/22/2012
Lent, Ash Wednesday, Easter, John 3:16 and the meaning of sacrifice
By Nicole Moliere
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent – a tremendous opportunity for a holy period of self-reflection, growth and prayer.

The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. (Linda Davidson – THE WASHINGTON POST) For many of us, Lent is the season for intensely examining our beliefs. Lent is the “ramp up,”to Easter, the holiest day of the year for Christians.

The true essence of the Lenten season is often overshadowed by what we are going to give up and how hard that is going to be. I shake my head thinking how giving up chocolate or some other vice or luxury is considered difficult compared to the sacrifice of John 3:16.
http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/story.php?id=44865&page=2