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4 thoughts on “Jeff gives it up for Lent”

  1. Here is a way that one could (inwardly) rejoice in Lent. It’s a quote from The Way of Humility by Andre Louf and it refers to the person who has “given up” trying to “achieve” spiritual glory, you could say, even though such a person persists in their impoverished spiritual efforts nonetheless:

    “Little by little this joyful sense of repentance begins to predominate spiritual experience. Out of this discipline of poverty (patientia pauperum) a new person arises each day completely and wholly defined by peace, joy, kindness, and gentleness. Such a one is forever marked by penitence but it is a penitential spirit that is full of joy and full of a love which appears plainly visible in him, everywhere and always and which remains a backdrop for the entire quest for God.”

    Notice: Quest for God. NOT quest for Lent! Or self-aggrandizement.

    “Such a person has henceforward attained a profound peace because his whole being has been destroyed and rebuilt by grace. He hardly recognizes himself. He has become a different person. He has nearly touched the abyss of sin but at the same time has plunged into the abyss of God’s mercy. He has finally learned to put down his weapons before God and to surrender himself. He has renounced his quest for personal righteousness and abandoned any project of sanctity. His hands are empty–or, perhaps better, hold nothing more than his own wretchedness–but he dares to expose them to mercy…. He is content to recognize his own weakness. He no longer seeks to perfect himself… His righteousness rests in God alone…. He knows nothing any longer except how to give thanks and praise God who is always at work in him in order to bring forth marvelous things.

    …That is why he can walk a path in the world as an equal and a brother of all sinners… His most intimate prayer… “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

    There then remains in his heart only one desire: that God put him once more to the test so that he might discover more profoundly God’s immediacy, so that he might once more embrace humble patience and unreservedly surrender himself to God with even greater love. He longs for the suffering and humility which draws him closer to Jesus and allows God to renew within him his wonders.”

    Pages 21-22 of this short, inexpensive, treasure of a pamphlet: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Humility-Monastic-Wisdom/dp/0879070110/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330635532&sr=8-2

    I’ve addressed some of that in a meditation that I mostly wrote on Ash Wednesday. (Interesting how God works… Even though I’m now Orthodox and we have no Ash Wednesday, I guess I celebrated it in my heart. You can find that “heart-work” by clicking my “name”.)

    Sorry for the pseudonym. Bosco knows me. Obscurity has its reasons….

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