Mother Lily’s Message
Lent has always been a strange time for me to comprehend. I know how to reas-sess my life and make the changes that are needed, yet I hope that I do this year-round. I know how to ask for forgiveness and to forgive, yet I hope I do this year-round. I know how to be more intentional in my relationship with God and others, yet I hope I do this year-round. To make up my mind to do this for a few short weeks has never made a great deal of sense to me. The giving up of certain things, especially knowing that I would be returning to those things after the period was over, has always seemed silly and superficial to me. Some of the things which I have heard people say they are giving up are not harmful to them or others, so what is the point. If it is harmful, cut it out or cut it back, I say.
There is something to the sober, penitential nature of the season. There is a great deal of sense to looking around periodically and seeing how wonderful God is and realize that sense of gratefulness which honors God and which never forgets. Yet again, I hope to be in this state of remembering and loving year-round.
Here is where I do think we need to do some work, including myself. I think we need to interact with the world with less criticism. Doing this with more generosity of spirit and support. We do have a voice and need to get heard, but we can be gentle in the way we do this. We can always be helpful even when we are sharing our feelings and opinions with others. We can make our point without denigrating another human being. I have been thinking long and hard about removing myself from Facebook, so that I am not a party to this kind of behavior, even in the sense of reading some of the mean, negative comments that come across my feed. I don’t want to support any of them in any way. It doesn’t matter who they are about. They are unnecessary and this is not how God wants us to act.
God is good. God is everywhere. Our responsibility is to respond to that goodness with the goodness God has instilled in us. Can we do this? Absolutely. It might take some work. We may have to redirect our passion in a more helpful, supportive and loving way. Lent is a time to sit back, take an honest look at ourselves, take responsibility for our actions and reactions, and work hard at making a life-time change. It is our opportunity to show God that we know the goodness we are capable of, because of God.
Warmly, and with many blessings,