Dante's descent into Hell is a winding road where we encounter Satan himself not in a pit of fire, but in a dark, cold, frozen terrain. In reality the closer we get towards Satan, the further we are away from the True Light and True God. Descent is an allegory with different meanings. We rarely descend into someplace that is not dark and dreary. During Lent we are asked to descend into our own personal spiritual self. This descent can be scary. In the those dark crevices of our being we may see things about ourselves that have been hidden away from the light of day. This descent may churn up a side of ourselves that reveals not what we desire to be. It is in the dark moments that we can recognize that real change is necessary in order to join Christ at the Cross. It is in carrying our sinfulness, our pride, our anger, our dark secrets to light that we can seek Christ's mercy, and repent. Like Spring cleaning we discard all those things that are not necessary but take up space - space where God can be. As we walk each day examine ourselves and with God's grace we can face our fears and begin to heal.
"It is right that during the holy Lent, which we have taken upon ourselves, we should give our attention to our cleansing and purification"
Bishop of Alexandria