Our Lenten Experience

March 20th 2021
There is something about this season of Lent that connects us with suffering. And for most of us, this past year has seemed like an extended version of Lent. We have now reached that point in Lent when we look forward to its conclusion, much like this period of isolation and denial of normality brought on by an uninvited pandemic. For many, it has meant missed family gatherings, cancelled trips and the loss of freedom to come and go as we wish. For others, it has included a far more painful experience of illness, hospitalization, even death without the expression of grief and the consolation we normally share together.

As our liturgical year constantly repeats itself throughout our lives, so is this period of Lent embedded within it and within us. Lent recognizes that what the suffering Christ endured was an act of perfect love. For each of us Lent offers the opportunity for personal growth; for bringing love where it is missing, bringing good where it is most needed and transforming ourselves from where we are to where we would like to be.

Helen Keller, who experienced much suffering in her life, tells us that, “although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” Think of this period of discomfort and anxiety; i.e. of suffering, as an opportunity to grow, to accept the things we cannot control knowing that we will get through them and overcome them. “The salvation of the world,” Faulkner wrote, “is in man’s suffering”. Let us be especially mindful of those who are suffering most during this unprecedented time.

     - Tom