Monday, March 14, 2005

Some Belated Thoughts on Lent

...he allows some of us to fall harder and more seriously than we have ever done before, as we imagine. And then we suppose that we are not entirely wise, and that all we have begun is nothing. But this is not so. For it is necessary for us to fall, and it is necessary for us to see it.
If we did not fall, we would not know how feeble and wretched we are of ourselves, nor should we know so fully the marvellous love of our maker…. We shall see in truth that we never lost any of his love, nor were we ever of less worth in his sight. And by the test of this failure we shall have a noble and marvellous knowing of love in God….
-- from Julian of Norwich on Sin, excerpted by Elizabeth G. Melillo

I know a pastor who, in discussing Lenten disciplines, points out that the value of keeping them is not in keeping them perfectly, but rather in failing at them...that it's at that point when we've fallen flat on our faces, when we're lying there bruised and breathing in the dirt, that we find ourselves in a place where we can meet the Christ who fell under the weight of his cross; who knows.

Today I've been feeling very displeased with myself for a number of reasons, including my spotty observance of the Lenten disciplines I'd placed myself under this year. Reading Julian helped me remember what I needed to, to make sense of the last few weeks.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes! Because only in the moment of our failure do we contemplate our sins!