Last Sunday was Laetare Sunday.
Mid Lent. Rose vestments. Rejoice!
Time to pause in our Lenten observances. To think. To reflect. To rejoice, with the prodigal son, rejoicing in the Father's mercy.
During Lent, we often try to choose a penance, to draw closer to God, to practice self denial, to pray more.
But you know what?
Often, our Lenten sacrifices, our Lenten crosses as it were, end up being not those of our own choosing. Instead, the Lenten penances often seem to be chosen for us.
We suffer a little. We learn a lot. Through the Lenten sacrifices that we, perhaps, didn't choose but which are sacrifices that are real...with a cost...that draw us to prayer..to Our Lord...to the Sacraments...rather than those Clayton sacrifices that we may have chosen for ourselves, those sacrifices-you-make-when-you-are-not-really-making-a-sacrifice.
I started Lent, typically, with Big Plans.
Yes, I am praying the Stations of the Cross. Yes, I am undertaking extra spiritual reading ( but not that which I thought I would do!). Yes, I am observing fasts. And praying. And almsgiving via Project Compassion.
But more than this, I am being brought to my knees..with tears but also with a sense of joy..brought to my knees because of relationships..and realising that maybe this is what I am to learn durng Lent.
What am I to learn?
With the prodigal son, with the woman who committed adultery and was brought to Jesus, I am learning more of God, of His mercy, His love.
This is what Lent is about. For Christians of all churches, to walk, at least these forty days, more closely with God.