Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lenten Thoughts

We are nearing the end of Lent, that special time of the year that we turn internally in an attempt to discover just where we are on our journey to God and just how close we really are to him. It is a time of introspection and repentance. It is a time to turn our hearts to the Father who created us with the joy and the hope that Easter promises. We acknowledge our sinfulness, but know that through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus our eternal salvation is won. We look into our hearts to discover those barriers that we have constructed that so often interfere with our relationship with God.

Lent has always been a meaningful time of year for me because I am reminded daily to reflect on who I am in God's eyes and what I need to do to draw nearer to him. It is during this time of the year that I meditate more deeply and faithfully on the Passion of Christ. Every time I meditate on this loving, saving work, I discover yet another aspect of the most selfless act in the history of the world that somehow affects me deeply. I have learned to look into the suffering face of the Savior with the realization that his suffering was due to my sinfulness. It is in this moment that I become determined to repent of those things that have become sinful habits. I vow to do them no more knowing that I will need the Savior's help if I am to succeed.

These are not depressing moments by any means. I believe in Christ and know that his crucifixion and death were not an end but a beginning for his glorious resurrection was ushered in by this supreme act of love. I may have to suffer as a result of my sinfulness but hope is always mine because my salvation was not won by his death alone. Salvation is won by his death and resurrection and in this fact lay the hope of mankind.

And so, in this time of Lent, I not only am saddened by my sinful human nature, but I am heartened by the Divine nature that overcame the human to elevate us all. I look forward, with great anticipation, to the celebration of Easter when new life and the promises of God are once again renewed and fulfilled. We are fortunate indeed to be Christians for we all have the unique gifts of hope and joy not only at this time of year but throughout the rest of the calendar.