I journey for forty days. I attempt to pay attention to areas where I’ve grown sloppy. I proclaim to the kids each year that we let go of something we truly enjoy for a greater good. It’s not that the thing is evil in and of itself, yet letting go of something we enjoy helps us grow, helps us lean into Christ, and produces a heart for Him, which is the sole purpose of Lent.
I overhear Magdalena say, “I can’t eat sugar.” I remind my sweet daughter that you certainly can. You will never get in trouble for eating sugar during Lent. “Magdalena, it’s not that we can’t…it’s a choice. We choose to let go of those tasty sweets while we remember to say a prayer for Mary, or your friend, or whatever God places on your heart. We don’t have to do anything. We choose to do something.”
G.K. Chesterton audaciously reminds us that we need Lent. “Whatever else may be said of man, this one thing is clear: he is not what he is capable of being.” We are made for more. With the tiny sacrifices we make during Lent, we more readily are made anew and joyfully able to enter the Easter Season with celebration.
Christ suffered for me. I gain perspective during this time which guides me into a much needed time of celebration during the Easter Season. JRR Tolkein reminds us, “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.” Easter (reminder of heaven) is our greatest adventure. Lent reminds us that we must detach from certain things in order to attach completely to Christ and live fully alive. The fast and the feast matter. I enter into the season of Lent with a desire to grow. Tiny sacrifices allow me to focus on what Christ suffered for me. I gain perspective during this time which guides me into a much needed time of celebration during the Easter Season.
The celebration matters. Holy Saturday in our house is bustling with life. Bracing myself early in the morning, I prepare for a laborious day. The list is full of indulgences and feasting provisions to be assembled. Easter adornment, apparel, and arrangements are underway. Joyfully our home is transformed from a Lenten space which feels a bit barren to a stunning place for Easter. A resurrected space. Hope glistens in the air as we prepare for the highlight of the liturgical year in the Church.
After the children prepare their Sunday best, unroll curlers from their hair, stock food on trays, and decorate the home, we make our way to the Easter Vigil. Christ is our hope. The long forty days of Lent begets fifty days of an Easter celebration. We begin that celebration promptly after the Easter Vigil. The late night festivities set the tone for the Easter Season. Searching for eggs at midnight with headlamps is a thrilling kickoff. Friends linger. Aromatic flowers fill the air. We celebrate largely because we live and breathe for the hope of the resurrection.
How is your Lent going? Tiny sacrifices are not about perfection. They are meant for small changes in the areas where God is calling you to grow. Are you preparing your heart to celebrate Easter? How does fully entering the liturgical seasons enhance your life? I’d love to hear how you celebrate!