Feburary 1999Who also bore....the wounds of love.   St. John of the Cross


Why is it that the human heart seems attracted to the somberness of Lent? For most of us, Lent means turning inward.

Some people spend this season meditating on the Passion. Perhaps, this is a good place to start. Even though the media is geared to happiness, pleasure and satisfaction, deep down we all know that there is pain, suffering and disappointment in our lives. It seems strange, in some cases, to invite suffering people to do more penance. Perhaps, this is the true meaning of passion.

Lent does us a favor by reminding us that we, by ourselves, will never be able to relieve our own suffering. This relief comes from God working in us, from a God Who so desires to do this for us. The season of Lent can be soothing. In a way, it pours balm on our heartaches.

Lent is also a call to bigness of life. There is a mysticism which could aptly be called the "pain of God", a mysticism in which we come to see dimly as God sees. We come to know that there are some situations in life which God does not intend or desire. Some writers would say that, in these situations, God suffers in us and with us. Our tears and the tears of God become one.

Meister Eckhart says that there is no pain or sorrow which comes to us that has not first passed through the Heart of God. Lent is an invitation to lay our sufferings in that Heart and to walk on bravely, with an air of confidence. Underneath the pain, there is a victory holding everything together. It will not be shaken.


By: Sister Mary Jo Loebig