Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Lent is supposed to be a time of reflection, and renewed appreciation for God's grace in our lives.  A grace might be something like being healthy, where others are sick.  Or being intelligent.  Even intelligent enough to be a scientist with no regard for religion.  It's also a time for penance.  A time to recognize our own failings, always with the hope of the Easter resurrection.  I think one of the purposes in giving something up for Lent is indeed to feel deprived of something that we like.  If we feel deprived by our own choice we might develop a greater empathy for those who are deprived through no real fault of their own.  Mother Teresa said to "give until it hurts."  So that  "we know how 'they' feel."  Mother Teresa's religious order, by the way, rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars, so she didn't mean it too literally.  Anyway, as much as it hurts to go without by free personal choice, it hurts even more to suffer unnecessarily through the choices of other people.  The Lenten spirit might somehow give us a greater compassion and empathy for our fellow human beings.  And a greater healing for those who suffer unnecessarily.

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