Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome to Lent

The word Lent comes from the Old English word lenctin – which means to lengthen, referring to the lengthening of days in springtime for the Northern Hemisphere. That in the cold and darkened season of winter, the time of spring and new life approaches.

A time of hopeful and somber reflection on Jesus and his passion (suffering). A time of self-denial and restraint to sort of toughen and train the soul (hence Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday, a final blowout before the Lenten discipline begins).

For some, Lent has been trivialized by giving up chocolate or, if you’re a child, spinach.

But Lent is neither about giving up things, nor setting Lenten Resolutions to live better and kindlier lives (although that’s always a good idea). Lent is NOT about doing or not doing; it’s really two things that occur in the deeps of the human spirit:
1. Thoughtful introspection about the awful reality of sin – the relentless self-interest that drives so much of life for all of us.
2. And contemplation about Jesus, the Way he chose via the cross and his invitation to take up our cross and follow him.

There’s nothing easy about any of this, but this is the stuff of spiritual health:
- Humility in the face of our sin and complicity in the suffering of the world.
- Sorrow for the state of affairs we humans have crafted.
- Confession: LORD have mercy!
- A heart broken by God.
- So that God can reassemble our hearts in the image of Christ.

Lent is never easy, but it’s vital to the health of the soul!

May God grant to us all a firm and faithful encounter with the Season of Lent!


Dukerskewl said...

I just had a flashback to the "Shadows" of a Lenten season past. Lent is certainly not easy in context to what is coming.

John said...

The ReadTheSpirit folks have site up starting today with daily content all through lent:

castaway said...

John thanks ...