I think my blog has been a little gloomy lately so here's a glimpse at some happy hope, straight out of our parish bulletin. Our pastor's recovering from surgery so I got a promotion to the big page 2 column! Woo!! Here it is, for your perusal.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for warm weather and flowers and sunshine. It seems like this year, Spring is taking its sweet time getting here. Lent, too, seems to be taking forever somehow! The word Lent is derived from the word for Spring, so I guess it makes sense that they both seem to be crawling along at the same agonizing pace. I just want to fast-forward to beauty and joy, to Easter.
But that is not how we roll in the Catholic Church. We know that in order to have Easter, we
must endure Good Friday. To experience the beauty, we must first face the ugliness. To quell my impatience, this week I went back to read from a favorite book, Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak. He invites us to look at the season of Spring as a hint of how our lives unfold and how the process of growth works:
“...there is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.”
Palmer reminds us that growth is not all about the blooming – change is hard work, and some of the conditions for change are happening even before we are cognizant of them.
If you are finding yourself at this halfway-point of Lent to be struggling with the changes you promised to make on Ash Wednesday, be encouraged. The blooming may be still in the unseen future, but the Holy Spirit is working in the present, beneath our feet, in the muddy refuse of our false starts.
There is still time for you to Repent and believe in the Gospel. You and I, even if we’ve done a less-than-brilliant job at being the best Christians we can be so far this Lent, still have time and opportunities to turn things around.