Pre-Lent and Lent

Lent is coming… We need to listen again to the voice of the Forerunner, “Prepare the way…”

Here is a timely reflection. As I read it, the Lord, pointed out several things to me.

First, it signals the “directionality” of the Lenten journey on which we will soon embark. This journey is of return or repentance. Turning again… I turned away and I refresh and deepen my second turning which is back toward to God.

Second, I am reminded of the fact that God SEEKS the lost and the formerly lost. He is always facing me and seeking me. The invitation of lent is to deepen my facing God and in so doing to face myself – the darkness and the light within – and to be transformed more fully into the likeness of Christ Jesus.

Third, is my multifaceted response to His countenance. The dark remnants of my fallen identity (false identity) responses to being sought out by, sometimes, hiding. I don’t want to be sought and seen. I hide as did Adam and Eve. He reminded me of His conversation with Nicodemus and  the danger of seeking the darkness when the light shines. He reminded me that His light that shines in my life is for the purpose of salvation not condemnation. And, the yearning to have the fullness of being born anew touches an irrational fear that God will turn His gaze away from me and quiet seeking to fulfill the good work He has begun in me.

Perhaps this is what these passages (and many others) really mean.

“Hide not thy face from me. Turn not thy servant away in anger, thou who hast been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation!” Psalm 27.9

“Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” Psalm 51.11

God Bless your Lenten preparation.

Fr. Thomas

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