by Catherine Doherty.
Lent, Easter, the conditions of the world …. Though Catherine wrote this in 1981, you’d think she was talking about today.
Does anyone understand that Lent is a joyous season? True, it is also a season of sadness and sorrow, of fasting and especially of prayer.
But it is also a joyous season for it is a preparation, a preparation for one of the incredible feasts, the feast of Easter.
Why is Easter such an incredible feast? Because it is a feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord.
Did you know that he resurrected from the dead? Of course, we know it, but we haven’t gone into its depths. We haven’t gone into the immense abyss which is Easter—the abyss of joy, of gladness, of celebration. Or have we?
This year will be a very strange year. Those of us who have ears to hear the voice of God, those of us who have ears that listen to his voice, will begin to understand that it is a fateful year.
All that man took for granted is slowly fading away. Money is in some hands but not in others. Unemployment is all over the place from one end of the world to another. Sadness, deep down sadness that happens to people, once in a lifetime maybe, now has become commonplace.
Why is it so? It is because the pattern of joy, love, and happiness that God etched out for us has been broken. We have polluted not only the air, the waters, and the food, but we have also polluted ourselves.
We have thought that we could "do what we want to do, when we want to do it, and how we want to do" and we have done so. Now we are sitting in the ruins of a hell made by ourselves for ourselves.
For he who ceases to love and to hope and to obey God creates an inward hell that no psychiatrist can cure. The only cure for it is to fall on our knees and cry out to God "Lord, Lord, hear the voice of my supplication. Out of the depths I cry to thee, O Lord."
This Lent, we not only have to lift our two arms to God, the arms of prayer and fasting, but we also have to lift all of ourselves up to be cleaned and to be given the virtue of obedience, obedience to the will of God, which is our sanctification.
Yes, Lent is here. Let us, whilst remembering that it is a joyous preparation for the celebration of Easter, also remember that this year is a year of sadness because we have, in a manner of speaking, forgotten God, thrown him out of our heart, as it were, and have substituted ourselves for him.
Nothing more tragic can happen to people than when they do this. Nothing!
So let us return to faith, and then love and hope will be ours too. And because we have glimpsed the incredible face of God as he approaches both his crucifixion for our salvation and his Resurrection, let us cry out to him in the joy of Easter which we will arrive at through fasting and prayer.
Let us cry out to him "Speak Lord. Thy servant is listening."
—Adapted from the column, "Where Love Is, God Is," Restoration, March 1981
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