For years I’ve had one image of Lent, that of going out into the desert. To me the desert signifies letting go of things, of sacrifice, and ardent prayer. This is imagery not only given in readings such as this Sunday’s (Mk 1:12-15) which briefly describes Christ being driven into the desert for fasting and resistance to temptation for 40 days. Or even Hosea, where the proverbial adulterous wife is hedged in, wooed in the desert and so forth.
However I was recently thinking that Lent should invite us to something closer to Christ: the scene between Him and St Simon helping Him take up the gloriously wretched Cross. Are we walking with Christ, close enough that we can be friends, or the bride as He is the Bridegroom? Can we claim to be His helpmate as Eve was to designed to be for Adam?