Today we burn last years palm leaves. We bless the ashes with holy water to remind us that we need to return to the Lord. To remind us that he calls us to greater love and greater goodness.
The 40 days of Lent are there to help us become more like Christ, to free us from the entanglement by our desires and the petty things that we think are necessary for our lives.
Too often, we perceive fasting as giving up our freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we see it like this, however, it will become a burden and a chore.