Sunday, March 26, 2006

These lovely lingering days of Lent

A glance at my favorite Catholic calendar this morning brought me pause. I knew in my head that today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, but in my heart Easter still feels very far away. These forty days of wandering in the sacrificial desert are at once both too long, and much, much too short.

I know the joy and anticipation of the Catechumens and Elect, who anxiously await their formal entry into our Church. I know the stress level of the staff who toil to prepare them, trying to negotiate the many details that accompany a successful Holy Week filled with rites and rituals and details.

I know the impatience of each kid (or grown up) who's given up soda or chocolate for what seems and eternity, and the secret relief of those who have vowed to lessen their time spent watching TV or surfing the internet in favor of more time spent in prayer. Those who have remained committed to their devotions to this point give themselves the gift of a wonderful habit that will likely extend well beyond this Lenten season.

So in my heart, I am both anxious for the joy of the Easter celebration, and a bit hesistant to move beyond the quiet spiritual focus of this lovely liturgical time. I want to savor what remains of this time of cleansing and preparation, and embrace the weeks ahead.

In this vein, I loved reading Patrice Fagnant MacArthur's reflection this week, entitled Walking the Stations of the Cross with Mary. Take a moment to read and reflect on Patrice's words - I know that they will bring you inspiration.

May the remainder of your Lent be truly blessed!

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