February 22, 2011

Easter is as late as possible this year. April 24th. That means a late Lent. Usually by now Lent is in full swing. We have finally had a thaw and the snow is almost gone. It feels like it should be Lent. In the southern hemisphere Lent falls during their summer and vacation season. Understandably, Lent isn't practiced with full fervor. I guess in their early spring that there is a penitential time that the people have created, not by mandate but by the real human need to look more deeply inside, to purify what needs to be purified, to become better people of the resurrection. The highest Church attendance day is not Christmas or Easter but Ash Wednesday. In the monastery St. Benedict in his Rule tells us that every day should have the flavor of Lent. It does, in its order and rhythm and mindfulness. I was watching a segment of Diane Sawyer interviewing some contemplative nuns and she asked the ridiculous question if they didn't sometimes feel like breaking out into song singing Oklahoma. They all just laughed. I wanted to say, yes, and more! It is not incongruous to contemplative life. We have the Lenten joy that St. Benedict talks about, the joy of what lies ahead, the Resurrection. That joy is 24/7.

Sister Maggie