Wednesday, February 22, 2012

this moment contains all moments

Light is something. Darkness is the absence of something.--Professor Fagerberg

Ash Wednesday is an important day for the Church. We begin the holy season of Lent and the journey starts with ashes and the invitation to do something to transform our lives. It is a wonderful opportunity to grow in our faith as we journey with Christ to his death and resurrection.

The gospel calls us to the practice of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. We are often asked this question. What are you doing for Lent? We may respond in many different ways.

Some people give up something they really like. Sweets seem to lead the list.

Others attend daily mass or read scripture.

A few may make donations to a charity or give of their time in service to people in need.

These are good things to do, but we might be missing the purpose of Lent.

The season of Lent is the final preparation for those people who are members of RCIA and will be baptized, confirmed and make their first communion at the Easter Vigil. The community who gathers with them and those at Mass on Easter Sunday is asked to renew their Baptismal promises. We reject Satan and all his works and profess our faith in God. Easter is a time of renewal for everyone in the Church. Lent is our preparation to do so.

What does this have to do with our practice of Lent? It is our turning away from the negative things in our life and making a deeper commitment to follow the risen Lord. Prayer, Fasting and Alms giving are not meant to be something that we give up. They help us move towards a renewal. It is to do it as a community.

May we be transformed by what we do leading up to the celebration of Easter.

Rev. Joseph .H Carey, C.S.C.

Lent is about replacing a negative with a positive. It is about pouring life into our lives and pushing out the dark. Yesterday, in our discussion of The Great Divorce, Fagerberg was discoursing on good and evil, and how good is something. Evil is nothing. Evil is like a dark room-you can block out all the light and "create" darkness. But you haven't really created anything. It's just a void. Then, as you slowly open the shutters and doors and windows, light floods the room, pushing out the darkness. Or it's like oil and water. If you add water to a cup filled with oil, the oil will spill over.
If we add light to our lives, the darkness will spill out of it. Lent is a time of light. Of preparing our hearts and souls to receive the light of Christ at the Easter Vigil.

Lent is a time of growth. It's about widening our souls and hearts to look beyond the pleasures of this world to encompass Christ. In The Great Divorce, we learn that souls of the blessed in heaven are too large for Hell. They can't fit inside the crack in the ground that Hell has become. Evil shrinks us, withers us, dries up our salitter--our divine essence. But Heaven is about becoming more solid. Becoming more ourselves, more of the human beings we were created to be.

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