Last week, I established that the purpose of abstaining during Lent is to replicate the desert that Jesus and other holy men and women choose for themselves when they need to become closer to God. In a Biblical sense, the desert is used to describe wilderness, or a lack of civilization and society. You can read about it here. Today, when we abstain, we fast from meat on Fridays or give up our daily coffee to remind ourselves that we are not of this world. As Christians, we are also not of this society.
Today, society praises the fiercely independent. The woman who needs no man, the man who needs to help. At a young age, we are highly praised for doing it "all by yourself!" However, as those called to be the daughters of the King, we are not called to be Miss Independents; we are called to be Miss Dependent. Today's readings are a reminder of this.
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4-5
Part of believing in God is trusting in what God can and will do for you. When life crashes in, we do not have to confront our hardships alone. There is a great, loving God who wants desperately to walk alongside us and through it. All we have to do is reach out and admit that we cannot do it alone.
Give up your independence today right now by praying in your heart (or aloud), "Lord, I need you."
Today is our final day of Lent. Tomorrow begins the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and theEaster, which means a review of sorts is in order.
Over the past 40 days, we have tried to practice the three tenants of Lent (prayer, fasting, and giving) in our daily lives in light of the Gospel's teachings. We prayed more, but also prayed with a clear purpose. We prayed for healing, for faith, for those around us. This also meant that not only did we give up chocolate or Netflix, but we gave up other things along the way, such as distrust in the Lord, a need for control, and other human acts and emotions that come between us and our God. Finally, we gave more of ourselves to those we loved (family, friends, community, and God) in an effort to give of ourselves, not just our possessions. And we did this all mindfully.
Mindful was the true call of this Lenten journey. To not just do things because we are supposed to, but do them with great intention. We are so often bogged down but the to do lists and requirements of our organized religions. If you carry anything with you from this, I hope that it the intentional mindfulness you practiced throughout Lent.