Normally, I look forward to Lent and its beautiful darkness. But this year, I just need Easter to get here. It doesn’t help that it’s a late season this year, meaning we’re at the end of February and Lent hasn’t even begun yet. The winter just stretches on. For once in a long, long time, I’m not looking forward to Lent. It is serious and has obligations, and doing nothing has been really working for me. I mean, it hasn’t been working for me spiritually; it’s been working on me in a being-a-lazy-bum sort of way. Effort and I haven’t been good friends lately, and I don’t want six weeks of penance and reflection because that sounds an awfully lot like effort.
It’s a good thing that my religion doesn’t exist for my comfort. Someone with my attitude is not in a good position to see the big picture. I need a wake-up call and a splash of cold water. I need a reason to regroup and take care of where I’ve been lacking, spiritually. I’m not going to do it on my own out of my own motivations. I need the structure of the Church. The Church will not and should not conform to my whims; I must conform to her. In doing so, I reign in my impulses and demands and laziness and strive for piety and forgiveness and righteousness. I’ll set goals and fail (like every year during Lent). But I’ll try.
In an odd way, I like that I’m focused on Easter so early this year. Normally my love for Lent means I don’t start to look forward to Easter until right before Holy Week. But this year, I recognize how much I truly need it. More to come as the annual, timeless story develops.