Joyful Lent


Lent is such a time of solemn joy. My heart rejoices in the opportunity for renewal and for reflection and for spending time with God. Rethinking one's life is a critical part of Lent. The fruits of that rethinking are all too soon gone with the coming of Easter and it's great joy.

But I was thinking, shouldn't the coming of Easter actually cement in place those good things we have done, those practices we have established. Shouldn't the coming of Easter be a true resurrection--not of the old habits and ways, but of the spirit within. If I have found a way to build a cell and retire to it during Lent, shouldn't that cell still be strong and vibrant in the Easter light and shouldn't it hold for me the same attractions? Indeed, greater attractions as it has become my home?

The solemn joy of Lent becomes the glorious Joy of Easter, and all the good we have done, all the practices we have begun can become a cohesive part of our lives.

I think the all-too-common problem with Lent is that people see the solemnity, but fail to pick up on the joy. We give things up in a spirit of penitence, but it should be thought of as shedding things that keep us away from the Lord. It isn't penitence, but joy that lights up all those practices that bring us closer to God.

Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I will say it, rejoice. And this is Always--Lent included. So rather than thinking about what we are "giving up," think about what we a shedding, sloughing off. Each little thing we can let go of changes the old person, each moment of grace we take advantage of is a ray of light to that seed scattered on the ground. Each observance of lent, be it a full stations of the Cross, or a single aspirative prayer, helps us to move closer to God, all through His grace.

Oh, Lent is such a season of great joy and great opportunity. Seize it. Seize the day, seize the light that is offered!

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 6, 2006 9:21 AM.

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude was the previous entry in this blog.

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