Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Leading into Lent

Ever the optimist, I am looking so forward to the commencement of Lent and my Lenten devotions. Knowing that one of my fasts deals with weaning myself from a particularly nasty caffeine addiction, I've taken the past few days to taper off. It's funny how much this has made me look forward to the start of Lent. Usually, I approach it with a bit of a sense of dread and dismay, somewhat certain that though I have good intentions about my penance(s), I will likely fall short. Does anyone else do this?

This year feels different somehow. I am looking forward to some time in the desert, stripping away the various things that separate me from God in my daily walk. I do anticipate my usual stumbles along the path, but somehow this year I feel somewhat more gentle towards myself.

Another joy of this time is sharing the anticipation of Lent with my boys and talking with them about their own Lenten devotions and observances. My hope is that we, as a family, will use this spiritual springtime to grow closer to God and to one another. Lent provides such a wonderful opportunity to focus on the benefits of fasting, increased prayer and "almsgiving" or giving of our time, talent and treasures to those around us who may be in physical or emotional need.

Leading up to Lent I feel a quiet contentment, a heartfelt longing - each of you will be in my Lenten prayers, as you walk along your own journeys in the desert. What a glory it will be to once again celebrate our Easter salvation this year with hearts and souls renewed and brought closer to our Risen Lord.

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