LESSONS LEARNED THIS LENT
What an unanticipated Lent this turned out to be! We found ourselves obliged to submit to higher powers we can’t control, to viral principalities we couldn’t imagine would govern us some short weeks ago. In the strange new realm of pandemic, down came our false gods: economies, securities, certainties. Fallen were the sweet self-congratulations of mildly sacrificial lenten practices. We pledged, on an unsuspecting Ash Wednesday, that for 40 days we wouldn’t swear, would not drink alcohol, would abstain from Netflix, would say a few extra rosaries, would not entertain negative thoughts and judgments. What brave Christian soldiers to embrace such hardy disciplines!
On Ash Wednesday we never dreamed that, this Lent, we would not attend Mass, wouldn’t enjoy the consolations of a lunch out with friends, would not find zinc or Lysol on pharmacy shelves, would not leave our homes without an involuntary shudder at the approach of other human beings.
This has been a Lent of more serious deprivations than we may have ever chosen for ourselves. Yet it serves as a profound reminder that the spiritual path is always a way of learning to bend, to bow down, to accept, to surrender. When this season of sickness is over, after what will most likely be a longer penitential stretch than we normally observe, may we take with us the precious virtues and values discovered in this time: patience, hope, community, and above all, humility.
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications