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Always Lent, Never Easter

section: "St. Francis in the Desert" - Giovanni Bellini
"She is a perfectly terrible person," said Lucy. "She calls herself the Queen of Narnia thought she has no right to be queen at all, and all the Fauns and Dryands and Naiads and Dwarfs and Animals—at least all the good ones—simply hate her. And she can turn people into stone and do all kinds of horrible things. And she has made a magic so that it is always winter in Narnia—always winter, but it never gets to Christmas. And she drives about on a sledge, drawn by reindeer, with her wand in her hand and a crown on her head." - C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

What if the ice we tread is just too thin?
What if we can't escape the squall we're in?
What if our hearts of stone are permanent?
- "Even in Winter", Audrey Assad

Living in Michigan, I know a thing or two about seemingly endless winters. We've been known to get snow in April and even May. In this same vein, it seems as if my soul and therefore my life are in a place where it is always Lent and never Easter.

I wake up far too early, and pray. I pray in the car, going to and from work. I look out my window at work, and see the homeless in the park across the street and I pray. I'm still on thin ice, surrounded by squall after squall. I fear having a heart of stone, of becoming stuck in a place where all is penance and fasting, but with no Resurrection and redemption in sight.

I wonder why I have been given the crosses I have to bear, when others seem to have little or no cross (and yes, I know this is not true, but it seems that way some days, doesn't it?). I think I've done everything I've been asked, everything I'm supposed to do, everything that's been asked of me, and I still have nothing but the taste of ashes in my mouth.

I know it is enough to be faithful, and not "successful" - at least in the world's estimation of success. I know it is enough to pray, and to expect nothing in return. I know this.

Yet I still wonder what it would be like to truly feel the honest and utter joy of Easter morning. In my heart, it is always Lent.

Comments

  1. Your cry of anguish here is more poetry than prose. I won't pretend to understand your pain, although I have experienced my own. We lived years in which everyone else seemed to be blessed, and Easter was with them, and we were still in Lenten lands. Ragged and hungry, we pressed our noses up against their windows, watching their feasting. Sometimes they'd see us and wave, but usually we were the invisible ones. We wore ourselves out with crying, "How long, oh Lord?" We pushed our bodies and minds forward, leaning into tomorrow so we wouldn't collapse, knowing tomorrow would be more of the same... We are older now, and bittersweet joys have come to us. Our grandchildren reveal to us that at least some of what we did was of value. The ice is melting, and Eternal Spring is on its way. We can see Him in many of the things we endured, but in others His face still seems hidden. As a convert, I take some comfort in believing that suffering offered up is redemptive. And, just perhaps, some of us have served our time in Purgatory in THIS life. ~ Rosemary in Ohio

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