I hate Lent – all those dreary hymns. Have you ever thought like that or heard others speak like that? If so, to be blunt, shame on you. Lent is not a time to be treated with weary resignation, not a time to be put up with on sufferance, Lent brings a special opportunity to get ourselves right with God, to do some spiritual spring cleaning, and in that spirit it should be welcomed.
The big questions for Lent are actually not so much “Are you saying your prayers? Are you coming to church faithfully week by week?” but rather “What is the state of your soul? Are you being renewed within? Which side is winning in the battle between the false self that says “Look after number one” and the true self that says ‘Thy way not mine O Lord’?” That struggle is never going to be easy, because at root we are all selfish, the old animal instinct of self preservation will continually reassert itself. But we are not alone in finding it hard. Not only is every Christian who has ever been, in exactly the same state – yes, even the giants of our faith such as Francis or Mother Teresa – but Jesus himself has endured the self-same struggle, as the story of the Temptations in the Wilderness bears witness. Read more.
Fr Edward Bryant