Lenten Reflection

Lent is a solemn and sober season.  It is at once my most favorite, and one that I do not always look forward to with eagerness, but I do look forward to it with a certain spiritual sobriety and longing.

In 2008 I fasted particularly strongly: no noise, music, or auditory stimulation at all. The only music, conversation etc occurred every Sunday at Mass.  It took me a good two weeks after Easter to turn the radio on in the car.  I cannot fast that way this year, however I am curtailing my music choices.  I’m cutting certain practices out, and resuming some spiritual reading.  What I mean by cutting certain practices out, is not like giving up chocolate or not watching television to gain more time to read.  Rather I’m gouging out unsavory practices: habitual sin. I know that it’s going to flare up before it ceases, but it will end.

As Lent is somber, there’s a pervasive element of despair.  It’s the desert season: without water, without seeming refuge; exposed under scrutiny however painful.  It’s a time that I give myself permission to spiritually flounder, and I pray for it as well.  I know that I need pruning and trimming.  It’s a difficult process, but in being aware that I need to go through it, I have to let it occur.  I do not like it.  I do not willingly seek it out in joy.

Do we enjoy scrubbing the toilet? No, but wouldn’t you rather have a clean toilet to purge into when you’ve got food poisoning?  Well, it’s the same spiritually. We need to enter into Lent and it’s sobriety to purge our Souls.

Collapse

darkness soaring into darkness
cold holding cold
fragility rejecting strength
smothered into death
rejection equating freedom
a soul collapsed in
fighting to avoid shelter
suffocating in unpercieved security
hoping on sufferance for liberty
falling from the lowest precipice
suppressed and deadened
timeless and loveless
vigor in descent
reviviscent surrender
simple elegance
always ever wanted
empire of constant presence

© M. Singer, Sept 2008