Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday ~ Lent is Done

From Seasons of Celebration by Thomas Merton:
"Lent has summoned us to change our hearts, to effect in ourselves the Christian metanoia. But at the same time Lent has reminded us perhaps all too clearly of our own powerlessness to change our lives in any way. .... Is there nothing more than this?
.... Easter is the hour of our own deliverance - from what? Precisely from Lent and from its hard Law which accuses and judges our infirmity. ... here is the "grace" of Easter which we fail to lay hands on because we are afraid to understand its full meaning. To understand Easter and live it, we must renounce our dread of newness and of freedom!"

One of the lessons of Practicing Lent is that changing my life ~ giving things up ~ choosing what to give up and what to change ~ is not easy. It also requires me to accept my own weaknesses and shortcomings as well as acknowledge my own power and strength. Practicing Lent this year has been not only a different experience but a change of attitude and vision for me. Lent is about change and awareness ~ and, as Merton says, it's about the Law.

Now. Today. Easter. Resurrection. The grace to move forward bearing the gifts from Practicing Lent. I like the final line from Thomas Merton: "...we must renounce our dread of newness and freedom!" Change is a good thing. As I give up on some things, some habits, some fears, I replace them with more of what is good and holy. I feel a sense of renewal that is moving me toward a greater access of freedom, a fuller awareness of the blessings in my life.

What about you? What practices bring you to that place of newness? renewal? freedom? How will you move forward and onward in the light of this new day?

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