I always feel like the articles that I write at the start of Lent come out sounding the same. We are in a time of growth, a spiritual journey that leads us from remembering our mortality on Ash Wednesday to seeing death itself defeated on Easter. That’s quite a pilgrimage, and so it really doesn’t need a lot of window dressing… looking within ourselves for the things we can improve, while facing our own mortality and looking forward to the defeat of death itself, that’s plenty to be getting along with. In fact, if anything, it might be TOO much. When we get overloaded, overwhelmed, it’s easy to just let it all fade into the background, and content ourselves with stuff like giving up chocolate for a month instead of really challenging ourselves. The world is already a messy enough place, right?
When you think about it, Lent isn’t all that weird for what is said… after all, going from the prayer of confession to the Benediction is often a mini-lent we do every week. The difference is, on your average Sunday, the trip is blink and you’ll miss it; much like light, it moves so fast that if you don’t know how to look, it’s hard to tell that it is moving at all. Lent slows things down. Gives us 40 days (not counting Sundays) to take that journey, and really see it, really experience it for ourselves. It’s something I always look forward to, and I hope you’ll join me.