"From the middle of Lent, the Sunday of the Cross, we begin to see our journey's end, and the radiant feast of the Resurrection comes into view. Lent is a journey to Pascha. It is thus a season of joyful expectation. If we take Lent seriously, the journey is arduous, but this makes Pascha all the more radiant and joyful. But throughout Lent, we are never allowed to forget the Resurrection which fills all things, all ascetic labors, all solemnity, sorrow, and contrition, with gladness and brightness.
It would be a mistake to think of the sacrifices of Lent in purely negative terms - in terms of struggle and deprivation. We are to think of Lent as liberation. Lent calls us to sacrifice many of those things which, while they tend to occupy such a central position in our lives, while they seem to us to be so important, are in reality things we can do without. Lent is thus the rediscovery of that which is most essential in our lives. In this rediscovery, we return to God and to the very meaning of life.
Thus, having stripped ourselves of all that is pretty and futile, having cast off the burdensome baggage of our worldly and often complex lifestyles, we can truly experience Lent as liberation and purification, as the necessary, fruitful, and wonderful journey to the joy of Pascha."
From the Book 'Meditations for Great Lent' - Vassilios Papvassiliou