Pick Up Your Cross and Follow Me !

Good Morning !  Today is Thursday, the day after Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the Lenten Season.

May the Lord bless you and give you his peace !

So, Lent.    As opposed to lint, that fuzzy stuff in the navel that is contemplated greatly at every other time of the year and by some during this time of year as the mind wanders off .  Have we slipped into that mind numbing passage of time in our daily lives that puts us into our normal routine.

LENT.. Wasn’t it Christmas just a little bit ago ?  Weren’t we just celebrating the birth of Christ just a couple of months back ?   We were all joyful and giving and loving !  What happened ?   I am not ready for this solemn stuff yet !   We were all having parties and feeling those great warm fuzzies !    Reveling in the abundance and goodness of life, and now .. now you want me to be all somber ?      NO !    I dont want to be somber and quiet and to concentrate on the pending crucifixion.  To give up stuff and spend time in quiet contemplation.   I have not recovered from Christmas yet !

No Meat ?   No Candy ?  No CHOCHOLATE ?….. what am I giving up ?   This is tuff.  AND you want me to think about it too ?   I really dont like this time of year.   Is it Easter yet ?    40 days …. hmm..

Does any of this sound familiar ?   Are you a recovering Christmas-holic ?    Was Lent a cold rag in the face this week ?  Your not alone.    In fact is feels this way for many Christians.  It comes quickly on the heels of Christmas, and early in the calendar year.     Well, what if Lent was not about self deprevation ?  What if Lent was a continuation of the celebration of Christmas ?   To a certain degree it is.   Consider this.    We are called during Lent to come into a realization of our own sinfulness.  To review our lives, and to work on getting our spiritual houses in order.   Is Christmas really that different ?   Are we not called during both seasons to renew our mission of LOVE in our hearts ?  Are we not called to look within, to give of ourselves, to care for our brothers and sisters, to love unconditionally ?

Lent is the time of preparation, a time of renewal,  and should be, like Christmas, a time to fan the flames of the spirit in our hearts and minds. It should be puragative of the bad things that have been crawling around our spiritual attics.  This is true BUT it is not just clearning out the junk.  It should be about the celebration of what replaces it.

You go to the dentist with a toothache.  No one likes to go to the dentist because they have a cavity, they know they will get a shot, and have to sit in the chair for long time while some guy climbs in their mouth with a jack hammer.  That part of the experience is never fun.  BUT, afterward, the pain is gone, the tooth is fixed and there is a great sigh of relief.  There is a little secret that not many people know about dentistry.   It is not the cavity that causes the pain you feel.  It is the infection that causes the pain.    The same is true in our spiritual lives.  We have pain, because of an infection in our spirit.   Lent is about removing the infection.  The question is what kind of filling are you putting in the cavity that is left.    

During this lenten season, lets try something different.  Instead of a somber stoic Lent,  let try celebrating Lent with our brothers and sisters.   Let the law of LOVE  be the filling in the cavity that caused you pain in your life.    Use this time to bring love into the lives of the brothers and sisters you meet.   I believe you will find that the person who ultimately receives the gift of  love, is probably you  !

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