Oh, my goodness, how light my heart is now that Easter is upon us and this Lent, this Lent, this LENT has passed. Lord, thank you for the Lent!
At Mass, on the first Sunday of this season, Father posited, "If we cannot deny ourselves the good things, how can we resist that which is harmful? How can we say no to sin?" Again and again, I reiterated those words to our family, weekly, as much to remind myself of the benefit of sacrifice.
So many fruits poured forth from the sacrifices made, the daily denials of little luxuries or pleasant options, and the extra "things I just don't want to DO".
Self-knowledge is surely one of those fruits. We discover, don't we, where we are weak, how easily we forgive ourselves, and how often we deny Our Lord, failing to even "stay awake one hour". Lord, forgive me in my weakness and self-indulgence.
But He knows we are weak. He knows we fail. At the culmination of all of His sufferings, He saw us, as Father tells us, through the blood and mud and sweat and filth of His terrible via crucis. He trod forward in pain, bearing it for us.
This act of love, this salvation for ME, who deserves none, edifies my soul that my life matters, is seen and noted, and my life is worth His being given, because of His great love. For me. Because He wants me to go to Heaven.
Because then, of His Sacrifice, I chose to offer my Lent for another. The fruit of THIS is - closeness with Our Lord! How much easier is it to bear a suffering when done out of love for another? For the life of their soul? And don't we, then, see why and how Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, bore His ultimate Sacrifice and Death on behalf of His children?
So now these forty days are done. Our Lord is no longer in the tomb. He is Risen in Victory- Victory over death!
We commemorate it every year. Every Lent, every Holy Week, every Easter. And every Easter I am utterly astounded at the relief from penances and suffering (if you could call it that) we attempt to share with Jesus, and the great joy and love unmerited by me that He so freely and willingly bestows upon me, and us all.
My heart is full, because of the parchness of the last forty days. My joy in the Risen Christ overwhelms me! I cry out again and again, "We are the Easter people! Alleluia is our song!".