It’s Lent and the birds are singing their hearts out. It’s Lent and the Hyacinth are in bloom – lilac, blue and white. It’s Lent and the trees in Richmond are flowering with fat buds of pink and white. It would seem the earth is out of sync with the liturgical season – arriving early at the promises of Easter. I don’t feel the cold starkness of the desert. I can’t feel anything but the warmth of the sun piercing the the memory of winter. Is this some cosmic mistake? Is it some twist of global warming ruining God’s plan? I don’t think so. The beauty of God’s creation is always gift. In fact, in her Ash Wednesday exhortation, our prioress urged us all to find comfort in the beauty of nature. In a year of great loss and unrelenting presence to one another in our grief and in our healing, Sister Cecilia wants each of us to find some comfort in these desert days. So, I am sitting on our back deck enjoying the rays of a nearly-too-hot sun. I am listening to those birds sing their prayers and smelling the first sweetness of spring.
Sister’s message may seem counter-intuitive against a lifetime of Lents. It is, however, in harmony with our paradoxical faith. The resurrection is a "done deal." By His passion death and rising to new life, the Lord Jesus has freed us from the fear of death. Still, every year, we wait for it to come anew – for the Paschal Mystery to take deeper root in our lives as we await the joy of yet another Easter morning. We are capable of living Lent and, at the same time, know that we are already redeemed. The joy and peace I am feeling in my heart this morning is but a taste of Easter joy – a microscopic hint of the eternal joy that awaits all who believe in Christ. I accept the gift of this joy and offer it as a sign that He is risen. If that wondrous truth comes to us before the great Triduum, we must receive it and give thanks.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki