To Keep a True Lent
by Br. Paul de Groot, O.Carm
Have you started 40 days of prayer, fasting, and alms giving?
Perhaps you are thinking of giving up chocolate, or alcohol,
Or are you going to do something positive?
like Walking against Hunger with CAFOD
or helping out a neighbour.
Why do anything for Lent?
So that this season of preparation for Easter can work a change within us.
we will surely then be better people when we hit the joy of the Risen Christ.
But I wonder what God really has in mind for us this Lent?
Do we need to change?
Perhaps we need to just allow ourselves to be,
so that others can accept us as we are
Will that extra pound from too much chocolate
mean God’s love will be withdrawn?
No of course not!
The consistent experience of the mystics,
which the Carmelites strive to keep alive,
is that God is always pouring out love on you,
Always inviting you into an ever-deepening relationship.
But do you know that there is Someone dancing with you
Someone who does not mind how many ‘mistakes’ you make?
To become AWARE that God is working through us
we do not need to fully work it out for ourselves,
we do not need to be always right.
It is enough
just to let ourselves be known,
to be held in the dance,
to let our minds, hearts and bodies
become conduits, instruments
that can resonate with that invitation for love and relationship to those around.
Are you aware of this invitation?
To be in such a way is to live inside hope,
That hope will make our lives feel so much larger.
That hope will weave a web of connections.
IS NOT THAT THE WAY TO KEEP A TRUE LENT?