WASHINGTON (CNS) — Lent, the spiritual season of prayer and sacrifice, has an extra pull to it this year because once again—and now for the third time—it will be under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic. And even though the third Lent in a pandemic can feel a lot like a Jesus’ third fall on the road to Calvary, people who spoke with Catholic News Service focused more on the season’s path to Easter and how this year’s Lent also coincides with an optimism around COVID-19 cases dropping in the U.S. “It’s a perfect storm: lower (coronavirus) numbers just as Lent approaches,” said Mary DeTurris Poust, former communications director for the Diocese of Albany, New York. Poust, who teaches yoga, leads retreats and writes a blog called “Not Strictly Spiritual,” said that during recent virtual retreats she has led, it’s obvious how much people want to reconnect in person. And maybe this Lent, which started on Ash Wednesday, March 2, is the time to do just that, she said about being with the parish community: gathering for Mass, prayer services and also for the returning soup suppers and fish fries. After the tremendous losses of the past two years, she said, this Lent could be a good time for a reset. “Lent is the perfect opportunity to recalculate the internal GPS” of where we’re going, Poust said, speaking about individuals but also more broadly about what parishes can do as they look to welcome people back.