Much like my experience with Advent and the Christmas season, Lent has taken on a lot more meaning for me. Actually participating in mass (planning, etc) and in such an intimate setting really doesn't permit one to escape into their own world during the celebrations.
Previously, Lent has meant a time of sacrifice and suffering. It does parallel Jesus' walk to Calvary, which was not full of fun and good times, but the reasoning for His walk to Calvary is far more than just to suffer on the cross. The more I think about Lent and how God created Jesus as the human person, the more I realize the all-encompassing power and love of God. And for the first time, this Lent I saw that God reaches out to us, wants us to love Him, and to at least try to understand His love for us, and so by sacrificing His only Son so that we may know His love, I can't help but be overwhelmed and feel unworthy. Okay, I know this was not His intent, but it's just one of those things that, thankfully, I'll never be able to fully grasp.
So, do I think I could've prayed more, fasted more, given more? Absolutely. But the way I see this Lent was for me to be made aware of the true meaning of Lent, not just my previously naive perception of this incredibly beautiful and powerful season. The revelations I had during this Lent will allow me to better understand and live out future Lenten seasons but also to incorporate this humility and grace in my daily life, an effort to live my life more intentionally and graciously than I previously have.
It has been really good to finally get into the swing of things back at the Inn since our retreat! It's really hard to venture back into "reality" after having such a peaceful break but I think we were all ready to jump back in! I was at the thrift store on Monday with very few issues, well, none, actually. I had physical therapy Tuesday morning and then again Thursday morning. During my Thursday appointment between Kim (my physical therapist) and I, we decided that my knee has gotten way better! I don't know that this means running is anywhere in my future, but I'm really excited that it doesn't hurt to walk down the stairs anymore! Next week will be my last week of PT and then I'll go back to the doctor for a check-up.
The meals have been going fairly smoothly recently, except for a couple isolated incidents of crazy men, one of which was threatening Karen, the other that urinated on a door of the Inn and was claiming that he wasn't given juice when he was holding 2 empty juice boxes in his hands. But really, it's those people and events that make each meal a bit more exciting and cause us to take a step back and laugh.
And one final thing before I sign off for today, my mom sent me a link to a website www.localharvest.org/csa It is a resource of all the local farms in your area. It has a Community Share Program where you pay a share each week and you get fresh, local-grown fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy, etc. Not only do you get fresh food handed to you, but you are also supporting the local farmers in your area!!! My community is working out a way to get involved and the local one in Philadelphia actually donates all their extra produce to Saint Francis Inn! It's very exciting, I suggest that you at least take a look!
Happy Easter to you and your families! May the death and resurrection of Jesus be a reminder to you of God's incredible love for all of us! God bless!