Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday.
It is the first day of Lent, which marks the beginning of an intentional Christian journey towards Easter.

Lent is intended as 40 days of reflection and spiritual growth. Just like Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, so the ‘desert experience” of Lent invites us to fast/abstain from something. This absence in our lives then acts as a reminder to self examination and prayer.

Why am I telling you all of this? I think that this ancient tradition offers us a spiritual tool to take apart our lustful culture. We live in an acquisitive culture that seeks to persuade us that we deserve all those things that we think bring us pleasure: food, possessions, toys, comfort and flattery. Lent is the spiritual opportunity to say “NO” to this cultural seduction. It is the moment to be reminded that true contentment is not found in serving the demands of our lusts. As we choose to do without something, we are offered an opportunity to discover the richness of simplicity. We are also offered an opportunity to share (in a very small way) in the struggle of those who do not have all the opportunities that we do.

So allow me to encourage you to use Lent 2009. You won’t be less of a person for not participating in Lent. It’s really not about Lent - it’s about resisting the cultural invasion of our souls. Whether you feel you need to give something up for Lent or not, take a moment to do some of your own soul-searching and repentance.

* That the greedy rulers of Zimbabwe become compassionate.
* That the greedy leaders of South Africa become generous.
* That the greedy thoughts of our hearts become kinder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks dad, that is a helpful take on the lent idea.