Only in the past 15 to 20 years has the 40 days prior to Easter, known as Lent, entered my spiritual awareness. As a Protestant, I knew nothing of this “season” of the “Liturgical Calendar.” I heard of my Catholic friends eating fish on Fridays when Lent happened but I did not know what all of that meant.
But in the past few years, it has become a valued part of my spiritual life. I have preached several years of Lenten sermons, and will again this year. However, with my One Word for this year being fast I am looking at Lent in a different way. Not as a 40 day event, but an important stop on my journey this year in fasting from many things in various ways.
One book that I now pull out as Lent approaches is Joan Chittister’s The Liturgical Year (Thomas Nelson, 2009) and her words about Lent both warm my heart and challenge my soul every year. This year it is this quote that has got me thinking about fast and fasting in a new way and at a deeper level.
Lent is the period in which, learning to abstain from adoring at the shrine of the self, we come to see beyond the divinity we have made of ourselves to the divine will for all the world.
As it is “sitting” with me, I am going to let it “sit” with you as Lent approaches.
l Signore sia con voi!