A Good Lent

Today, Palm Sunday, we finish Lent and walk into Holy Week. It’s been a Good Lent.

A couple of weeks before Lent started, I was given a penance, if it can be called that, of “staying with the question.”  What kind of penance could that be? For me, it is a real command to change, and practice change. My first choice when faced with an unanswerable problem is to run and hide in a closet and hope the whole mess disappears. “Staying with the problem” means I can’t do that at all. It means I have to hold the problem, the issues, the situation and sit with it.

Our theme for Lent this year was “Listen, Reflect, Receive.” I didn’t know about this theme until after I got my marching orders, but it sounds a lot like reinforcing my goal of staying with the problem. And so, I have spent the past few weeks trying to listen: to myself, to those around me, to the situation(s) in general. I’ve tried to hear that which hides behind words and deeds.

I listened to the gospel reading last week which was the one about Lazarus dying and being called back from the tomb after 4 days. I read the reflection on that reading in Raising of Lazarus over on Creo en Dios! In that gospel, Susan heard strongly the words of Thomas the Doubter. Me, I heard Martha breaking down and, I imagine, almost screaming at Jesus – “If you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!” Sometimes, it’s so hard to listen when we hurt. Sometimes, I really can’t listen until I put my frustration into words and say it out loud. Maybe that’s what Martha had to do – before she could come to the point of listening and realizing that she did believe baccarat casino onlinefree internet casino gambling,internet casino gambling,internet casino gambling ukbackgammon downloadplay black jack for money,play black jack for fun,black jack playonline backgammon gambling,backgammon gamblingfree online blackjack,blackjack online,online casino blackjackonline gambling and sports bet casino,online gambling casino,casino online real gamblingfree online slots game,game casino online slots,slots onlinebest video pokerplay free slots gameonline casino reviewfree online blackjack gamefree internet blackjack,best internet blackjack,internet blackjackfull pay video pokermultistrike video pokervideo poker deucesfree video poker gameswin video pokerplay roulette onlineblack jack learn play,play black jack,black jack online playonline game gambling casinoplay blackjackbaccarat game,baccarat card game,free baccarat gamefree casino slots,free on line casino slots,casino free slots downloadonline baccaratplay blackjack online free,free online blackjack,free online blackjack gameinternet video pokermultiplay video pokerfree backgammon downloadcasino craps,craps casino game,casino craps on linevideo poker gamejackpot city online casino,jackpot casino,casino jackpot onlinefree casino cash no depositfree casino playfree online casino game craps,best craps game,craps gamejeu casino en ligne,casino en ligne gratuites ,casino en lignecasino avec bonus sans depotbonus de casino sans depotjack black moviesjouer a la roulettejeu de roulette gratuitesjeu en ligne gratuiteswww casino on net comgeant casino jeuxplay slotsmeilleurs jeux de casinohttp www yachting casino comjack black soundboardbonus reward casino 770casino gros bonus that Jesus was “the One.”

After listening, comes reflection. In the Lazarus story, Martha does that as well. When Jesus begins to question her, she finds herself in a spot to reflect on what she knows and believes. And, so it happens with me. I spit things out, and then if I’m lucky, someone listens and moves me to reflect on those feelings and what and why they are. That can happen in prayer, but God seems to meet me where I am and often provides another human being to play that role – to be the mirror for me.

And I find it encouraging that Martha, who was so upset, is the one who also receives the gift of faith – she is the one in the story who proclaims – “Yes, Lord, I believe…”

And so Lent has gone for me this year. There have been doors that have started to open, even if only a bit.  I have tried to stay with the problem, stay in the moment, not run and hide (that was my penance after all). And in doing so, my ears have been opened just a bit, and I have both reflected on what I have seen and heard as well as stayed there to see my reflection in the mirror, and it seems that has allowed me to receive some peace.

Good Lent.

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