Lent: Beyond Ourselves

BY Doug Jones

March 21, 2013

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As I have been walking slowly through the forty days of Lent, I have revisited some books I often pick up during this season of the year. One I recently have started browsing through is Sister Joan Chittister’s The Liturgical Year. In this post I want to share the paragraphs that have captured my hopes for Lent and for my formation as a Christ follower. My prayer is that they capture your aspiration as well.

Having conquered our impulses for the immediate, having tamed our desires for the physical, perhaps we will be able to bring ourselves to rise above the greed that consumes us. Maybe we will be able to control the anger that is a veil between us and the face of God. Perhaps we will have reason to foreswear the pride that is a barrier to growth. Possibly we will learn to foreswear the lust that denies us the freeing grace of simplicity. Maybe we will even find the energy to fight the sloth that deters us from making spiritual progress, the gluttony that ties us to our bellies, and the envy that makes it impossible for us to be joyful givers of the gifts we have been given. 

Lent is the period in which, learning to abstain from adoring at the shrine of self, we come to see beyond the divinity we have made of ourselves to the divine will for all the world.

Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year, p. 113

May we live a blessed Lent.


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