Monday, 23 February 2015

Pause in Lent

I love Lent. I love it more and more with every year that goes by in its whirl. Suddenly the boys are one year bigger, I am one year older, and we have survived another chunk of chaotic family life. Suddenly, just as Winter threatens never to release the hard earth from its cold grip, there remains light in the sky at dinner time, I'm not pulling on a hat as soon as soon I have to go outside, and I don't phone my parents to make sure they're not venturing outside on slippy pavements.

Then suddenly too I can open my Feast for Lent and come home. That's the overwhelming sense I have this Lent. A great joy at the prospect of being back in the desert for forty days and forty nights with Jesus, just Jesus. I don't have to put up a tree for this festival, evergreen or with egg-decked branches. I don't have to write shopping lists for presents and food. I don't have to roast a beast or present a gasp inducing dessert. My children are not saying with their mouths that it's all about Jesus while salivating in their minds over presents and chocolate eggs.

Lent is still in its right place! I know that it's obviously very common for all and sundry to give up smoking, wine, chocolate digestives and facebook, but there's no materialism involved in that decision. It springs from some understanding that these weeks before Easter are about overcoming temptation and being better people. I do annoyingly persist in asking such friends if they are using the time they save, or the urges they experience, to think more about God.

Delia says, "Let us approach our Lenten acts of self-denial with the right sort of attitude, an attitude which will allow the Lord into some of our problem areas, to rescue us and save us. As we prepare to celebrate the Lord's triumph over sin and death in the Resurrection, let us understand that this can happen in each and every one of our lives, whoever we are, whatever kinds of problems we have."

Lest this reads as sanctimonious sermonising I will say that I have deactivated my own facebook account and can now get real things done! I will state that I am determined to get through all the readings this year- and that will be a first in the many, many years since I bought Feast! I will confess that part of the comfort in being back in the desert is to look at the Lent notebook that I keep with the book and see that many of the same worries that I have are addressed year after year and graciously and generously and with the great compassionate love of our God that Delia dwells on so beautifully throughout.

Happy Lent x

9 comments:

Pom Pom said...

Beautifully said, good pilgrim. I feel so many of the same emotions and am cheered by your take on Lent. Love you!

Angela said...

I love that book. If only I could find my own copy [not unpacked yet!]

gretchenjoanna said...

It seems we need that year-after-year exercise (the 40-day spiritual fitness program.)
May your Lent be blessed.

Amy at love made my home said...

So beautifully and truly said. I have given up chocolate and sweets, and am also trying not to buy things I don't need. I will hope to carry on these new good habits all year long. I am also taking time to make sure that I put notes into my jar of thanks, happy and gratitude to be aware of the good things in life. I hope that you have a good lent, and perhaps can enjoy a little chocolate egg once it is over. xx

Isabelle said...

Happy Lent to you too.

Lisa Richards said...

Well said. :)

Kezzie said...

Such a good post!xx

Fat Dormouse said...

I had forgotten that book! I wonder if I still have it?! You always write some wise and thoughtful posts Mags. Thank you.

M.K. said...

So glad that this season is a rich blessing for your soul, Mags. We need that, especially as we exit the hard winter. May your days in the desert with Jesus leave you rested and peaceful.