Is Lent really 40 days? Or is it just kind of a symbolic number? Pretty sure that Sunday's don't "count". And it ends the evening of Holy Thursday. So does Thursday count or not?
In any case, it's about 25% gone. We are 10 days in, and so far, so good.
My prayer before Lent was that God help me to listen and know what He wanted.
The homily the day after Ash Wednesday was about Lent not being about making temporary changes that would be over and done in 40 days. It was about identifying the "spiritual cancers" in our lives and submitting to the treatment - God's merciful love. So I prayed to be open to the quiet voice of God, and to be willing to let go of the things that He identified. I went into Lent with only a couple of resolutions, but with the idea of being open to anything else God pointed out.
He didn't wait long to point something else out! Friday, I sat in the quiet of the empty church before school reflecting on the homily at my parish which had been about fasting. Fasting has nothing to do with dieting, the good Father had said. Fasting is about glorifying God; dieting about glorifying self He went on to give a beautiful explanation of authentic fasting. Authentic fasting leads us away from ourselves, out of our comfort zones, and towards God in prayer and fellow man in almsgiving. Surely that is a process to get to that point.
As I sat there, I felt that quiet voice of God, pointing out my procrastination habit. If I would have blinked, I would have missed it. Or dismissed it. Of course I procrastinate. That's news to no one. But I saw it in a new light.
Confession was Saturday, and the priest was so encouraging. He didn't address anything specifically, but said that we need to look at our lives as "fertile ground for redemption", that God never tires of us coming to Him, and basically to keep working! I'm not sure why he was so encouraging - I didn't think I was discouraged - but I know enough to know that the Spirit works through him, so I just sat back, shut up, and listened.
Monday (pi day....3.14) was the gospel about "whatsoever you did for the least of these...you did for me." Who are the least? Well, that would be US! We are the ones who hunger and thirst (for the Lord), who are sick and imprisoned (in sin), who stand naked before him in shame. We can look into our lives, he said, and see how we fit in each and every category! (And I always thought those people were someone else...) But he feeds us, frees us, cures us, proclaims our dignity as his beloved. We in turn must do the same for others. We have no right to withhold that which has been given as undeserved gift! So says my pastor.
Today - Friday - another "wow" homily. Jesus expects more from us than just going through the motions. our hearts must change and that journey starts at the foot of the cross. There we see that those who need forgiving - who need love the most - deserve it the least. Again, that would be who? Well, us! And in turn, we must do for others.
What I really started this post to say was that I have scratched some things off of my procrastinated "to do" list. I got my car inspected and ordered heart worm and flea meds for the animals (I need a second job now, but that's another story.) I've returned unread library books and cleaned (a relative term) the bathroom counter. And more. ;-)
Prayers that Lent continues to be fruitful!
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