Thoughts on Lent

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{photo c/o: Unsplash}

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day that marks the beginning of Lent. It is meant to be a time of fasting, prayer, and repentance for Catholics and many Christians. I don’t know why, but for me, Lent has never had much of an impact on my life. I was born and raised Catholic and went through the rituals just like everyone around me did. But as an adult, I see the season as such a dark time. And it’s hard for me to grasp this darkness, since I’m very much aware of how the story unfolds. I agree that we should definitely acknowledge what Jesus went through for us, but Jesus is alive today because the ultimate redemption was gifted to us.

I actually enjoy rituals so it’s uncharacteristic of me to reject a meaningful tradition. I love the practice of building altars of remembrance and I love the solstice changes and the new moons. I love acknowledging these turning points and reflecting on all that God has done in my life. I suppose I could pick something to fast for Lent, but again, I would feel like I’m doing it for the sake of doing it – not because I feel led. This is in no way intended to rain on someone else’s parade. I respect those who fast and do it consistently year after year. It just isn’t right for me – at least for now.

I did complete a little meditation in my journal for the new moon that recently happened. I chose three words that I wanted to see unfold in my life over the course of the year (this is different from my word of the year for 2016- to read about that word, click here). The words that I chose were joy, peace and abundance. I feel God pouring these over my life, but I also know I must consciously make a choice to live out each of these every day. This may mean rerouting my mind for the thousandth time when things are going downhill with my kids. It is choosing joy again and again, even when we have yet another cold going through the house. It is feeling at peace with my thoughts and choosing to not forge ahead with worry about the future. It is trusting God for abundance in these areas because I know that He wants the best for me.

Since I feel led to continually choose joy, it is difficult for me to embrace the Lenten period of mourning or sadness only for the sake of tradition. Now if I am truly feeling such emotions, then that is a different story. But currently, I am not.

I am truly happy that God chose to redeem us by way of his Son. And I feel that is something worth celebrating every day, not just on Easter Sunday.

 

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