Keep Love in Lent:
Why a Failing Lent Really Isn't
An honest, no-frills Lenten voyage:
Living simply. Trying to, anyway.
Our children are building their faith as they spend time with crafts, literature and prayer on our journey through Lent toward the joy of Easter. Then there’s the giving up. Following through on this…. makes me want to, well, give up. Which makes me wonder: Who am I following, really?
Which, I’d say, is the point.
My family has long term, anticipatory plans on Shrove Tuesday. Don’t we all begin, of course, with The Ash Wednesday Clean Slate?
Now, though? A week in? Husband and kids are doing well. They’ll continue to do well. Sticking to their sacrifices. For the most part. I know they will. Me? Mostly I stray. And mostly, I am proud of the loves of my life who subscribe to the “real-men-do” philosophy: Real men do say the rosary. Real men do depend on scripture and fasting and repentance.
Like entering the desert of our souls. Like walking with Jesus into the dark, unrelenting wilderness for forty days. Like becoming aware of our ragged spirits and begging mercy for the dark night of our souls.
Is Lent about forming and renewing? Or forfeiting? Is one more important than the other? And what does it say about me that I just can’t stick with what I planned to renounce? Possibly that I need to empty the soul more to know the filling of God? The love of God? And possibly, that a failing Lent really isn’t -- once I come to this realization?
My oldest offhandedly commented on Ash Wednesday that he
s-h-o-u-l-d give up his habit of complaining. “But,” he claims, “Giving up sweets is just so much easier, you know?”
Hmmmmm. Forgoing treats is just plain simpler than addressing the struggle with the internal. With ridding one’s self of the difficult day – to - day struggle with the devil.
Coming face to ugly face, with sin.
Does the emptying of the soul, the cleansing through the grace of confession, come only when we know how empty we truly are?
May we each, in our Lenten journeys, rediscover the beauty in our relationships with one another, as we reflect on this precious gift of renewal and rebirth. And love.
Sharing an Easter shot from a few years ago: 2009
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