The title of this post is how the priest ended his homily at the Liturgy of the Word that I attended after work this evening. I love it! I love how pumped up and yet solemn (is that possible?) he was as he talked about Lent and what we should do for these 40 days. As Leila talks about here, my soul has most definitely been craving Lent. Not only, or even primarily, because of the huge battle going on between the Catholic Church and the current presidential administration, though that certainly troubles me deeply and often. This craving for Lent is coming from a place inside me that knows that I need to change my ways or I won't make it out of this year in one piece.
Now, I know you're thinking that sounds a little melodramatic, and maybe it is. But work, marriage, and infertility are all taking their toll right now, and I crave refreshment.
Refreshment comes in all forms. Just think about it!
Exfoliation: Those scrubby bits in your face wash hurt a little, but they are scraping off the dead bits! If that's not refreshing, I don't know what is. Lent is like exfoliation for your soul. It's crummy to be hungry while you fast or to miss out on delicious meaty sandwiches when you eat out with your co-workers on Fridays, but fasting and abstaining are making your soul shiny and new-looking! Confession is scraping away all the dead bits! (remind me to go - I am a super slacker when it comes to confession)
Health spa retreat: Taking a break from your normal routine, paring down your intake, and even exercising new muscles can lead to a refreshed and healthier mind and body. Giving up something, whether it's sweets or video games changes the routine and makes us conscious of our choices. I'll be taking a break from watching television this Lent, and I'm hoping that the change will enable me to give proper attention to other areas of my life that I've been neglecting.
Icy water: Drink deep. Oh, sorry about the brain freeze! But how can you beat cold water when it comes to refreshment? (yes I just got up for a glass of water after typing this.) We can't just give up things during Lent; we need to add things, too. This is something I've never successfully done before. This Lent, I want to add more regular prayer to my life (look out, prayer buddy!). I also want to add a little spiritiual reading, which will be another first for me. I think adding these things will allow me to learn more about just how much love God has for me. Trying to wrap my head around these things is likely to give me something of a headache (can we ever really understand how much love God has for us?) but I think it's time to try.
I hope that you experience the exfoliating, healthful, and ice-cold refreshment of Lent this season. Let's do this!