OK – enough partying.
When you find yourself at a pub with your small children on a Sunday night, no less…well, by God, it is time for Lent.
Truly, I have never heard as much chit-chat about Lent as I have this year. Just casual conversation among normal people, I mean. I guess in the years that Easter comes early, we hardly feel like we’ve gotten over Christmas, and Ash Wednesday appears. In those years, maybe we haven’t gotten to the point where we yearn for it yet. Not this year, it seems! Easter is so very late this year that even the normal people
(And by normal people I mean what everybody else means when they say normal people. People like me. And the people I like.)
feel like enough already. We need to re-group and re-focus.
What we call the Liturgical Year helps us to order ourselves. There’s a rhythm to the seasons – Advent, Christmas, Ordinary time…and now the season that commonly evokes the word “downer”. Lent. Give it up already. Let’s get through this grey winter downer time so we can celebrate a pastel spring happier season. That’s a bummer in itself.
Lent is kind-of a Church sponsored time out. Sit now and rest yourself, she says. The Lord knows you spend the rest of the year in a tizz. You need a break? You need to hear yourself think? You wish you had an extra minute to really come into contact with God? Permission granted, says the Church. Give it all up – the distractions, the stupid stuff, the lame stuff, the time wasters. The fussy, the indulgent, the yakky, the tacky. Just give it up and rest yourself. Have those quiet conversations with the One who loves you best.
These conversations may see us reflecting on — what habits take my peace away – what activities leave me unsettled?
When do I feel the peace of God’s presence? How do I need to order my time to have less of the peace-zapping and more of the peace-giving?
But hey, what do I know? I’m not even very normal. Go listen to Sr. Mary Martha, who is way more normal than I am, and everybody knows that. She has a good Lenten jumping off point.
Enough already – just go see Sister.