Friday, March 5, 2010
Lent and Springtime
It has been a long winter, and most people you talk to around here will agree. This picture from a prior spring, reminds me that spring is coming. It is appropriate that the season of Lent coincides. Often when we talk about Lent our conversations revolve around things that we are giving up. "What have you given up for Lent?" We focus our attention on the things we know are wrong in our lives, the areas we want to improve, the habits we want to kick, or the virtues we want to attain. We sometimes come into Lent with a detailed agenda, or "to do" list. However this widely misses the point of Lent, a season for penitence, and reflection.
The purpose, of Lent is that of preparation, whether we think of it in terms of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, or the early practice of preparation for baptism. Jesus was taken into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, as preparation for his public ministry. In the early church, it was the forty day fasting and prayer for the new convert, to get him or her ready for new birth, life in the Church. Lent is preparation. Every Lent is potentially a new spring time. It is a time, when God can prepare us for the next big step in our lives. This could be the year that God completely changes the game for you. But when we come to it with our list of things we want to accomplish, sometimes it is hard for God to get a word in edge-wise. We do all the talking, all the working all the sacrificing and likely will miss what God really wants to do in our lives.
Instead of thinking of it as giving up, (a sacrifice on your part) think of it as an offering to God. Your fast, your contrition is a gift to God that he will not despise. It is not just about self discipline, it is about a new spring time--in our lives. It's about honestly and openly offering our lives to God and letting Him decide what He needs to fix in us, to fit us for our next task, the next stage of our journey. Are you ready for springtime in your life? This Lenten season offer to him your heart, your contrition. Let your fasting be a gift to Him, as a measure of your sincere desire to be a good disciple, and to allow Him to do His work in your life. Burn that agenda. Quit telling Him, and let Him tell you. Stop, and listen--Spring is coming!
Posted by Fr. Bob Lemmon at 6:11 AM