Prophet Joel sets the pace for the Lenten period by sounding the Lord's invitation, " ... Return to me with all your heart." Given our human nature and condition, a human person is prone to lose sight of the target God meant for us, by falling into sin. The good news is that God never ever gives up on us, he looks for us, his lost sons and daughters. He forgives us and receives us again and again.
Lent gives us three traditional ways to benefit from the forty days of Lent in preparation for the Resurrection of Christ. These are: First is prayer to enable us to build a closer relationship with God. Second is fasting for our personal growth, body and soul. Third is almsgiving to demonstrate our relation with others and our responsibility towards them, through self-denial. In fact, in the Holy Father's Lenten message, which recognizes the fact that the Word of God is a gift, and so are others who are a gift too, he exhorts us to open our "door to the weak and the poor."
Through these ways we open our hearts to God to redeem us by his mercy. We need purification from our sins as a sign of our conversion and penance. This is the moment to return to the Lord God and make our peace with him.