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February 27, 2012

Lent as a Time of Healing


“How is it possible to embark on a mission that will bring with it so much suffering and humiliation? This is unthinkable for one seeking power, but this is embraced by one who loves, or rather, who is Love himself.”
–Father Richard Veras, “May Love Lead Us Through Lent,” February 26th, First Sunday of Lent, The Magnificat Lenten Companion 2012


This year I really need Lent to be a time of healing. Just as the season began I was hit with a couple more blows—news of another friend’s miscarriage a few months back, the death of a childhood friend’s beautiful mother. Even before Lent started, I found myself singing “Christ, Be Our Light” as I rocked Jacob to sleep. In some ways, this is a dark time, but I am looking for every opportunity to let the Light in.


As I considered what to do for Lent this year, I realized I needed some action, some penance that would help me feel whole. John has graciously added “healing” at the top of our rosary intentions each evening. Recognizing that a part of me is broken, torn away, gone is validation for me that there is something in me that needs to be put back together again, albeit in a different way than it was before.


The season of Lent is naturally a time of healing. It is a time of breaking away from distractions to fill ourselves up with God’s love. I kind of dread Lent, but it is so necessary in a healthy spiritual life. This year, though, it’s not just about not watching “The Biggest Loser” or giving up sweets—though those things are important, too. This year, it’s about being sure that I am healing with the right salve. That I am bandaging the wounds with something that will help them heal properly.


I have given up sweets (except on Sundays!) and “The Biggest Loser” (thank goodness for Hulu in Eastertide!), but my more significant Lenten observance is the five minutes I’m taking each morning and evening to talk to God and let Him talk to me. I have a couple of books with quick meditations that are guiding me, and already I find myself saying things that I haven’t said to God or to myself in a long time. It is in our weaknesses that we are strong. Another way to think of that is that it is when we are exhausted that the effort really matters. In less than a week, Lent has been fruitful for me, and I hope there are more Light-filled days ahead.



For the record, Jacob’s not into “Christ, Be Our Light” or any other hymns as sleep-time songs these days. He’ll only take Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” which is, perhaps, just as fitting.

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