Lent is not a neutral word

ImageOne cannot hear the word ‘lent’ and not have an emotional response.  Lent is not a neutral word.  When I think about lent as a child, I remember giving up candy, gum, or ice cream.  The few times that I made it all the way through lent, I felt a bit smug and proud at the end of the 40 days.  Most times I gave in to ‘temptation’ and then the guilt and remorse set in.  But…those were my childhood memories.  I’ve grown and my feelings about lent have as well.

I remember a lent a few years ago that was so joyous for me that I almost felt guilty for being so happy.  It was a lent laced with love – with the thought of all that He did for me was out of love.  His choice…He chooses to love me more than His own life.  He chooses to accept me in all my weaknesses and flaws and, He chooses to die for me.  His choice – my Grace. That year lent was a gift and it was a joy-filled 40 days.

Most lents are a mix.  With so much inner and outer work to do, how could these 40 days not be a mixture of pain, sorrow, joy, and love?  What will this lent bring?

I will try to remain open to whatever emotions fill me these next 40 days.  I will try to approach lent as an adult with the heart of a child.

 

 

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4 Replies to “Lent is not a neutral word”

  1. You are quite right and it surprises me every year how many non-church-goers take up the challenge of Lent. I sometimes wonder if we made faith ‘harder’ would it be more ‘popular’. I don’t think I have ever had two Lents the same and not expecting any different this year. The important lesson that we are brought closer through Galilee or Jerusalem.
    Blessings on the journey m+x

  2. Eight years ago this Easter Vigil I was received into the Catholic Church as an adult. Until I explored the Roman Catholic expression of the Christian faith, I didn’t really experience Lent fully. Now each year I look forward to setting aside more time to spend with our Lord during this blessed season of Lent. It is such a joy to step back from the busyness of our lives and reflect on our Creator.

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