Yes, this is the time when Lent gets on your last nerve. I have seen that Little Cesasr’s Bacon Wrapped Deep Dish Pizza advertised one too many times. Spring is here and everyone is ready to enjoy the warmer tempereatures and lack of ice and snow. But, we have a few more weeks of soul searching, intensive repentance, deliberate spiritual reading; our struggle continues.
One of the better known songs by the post-punk indie band (hey, I listen to a lot of different genres) Rites of Spring is “Deeper Than Inside” I doubt that they meant any spiritual interpretation to their name or lyrics. But, I am considering a couple of things. The whole punk rock movement (also early hip-hop) was a rebellion against the huge, corporate monster music industry. It was a couple of kids who knew how to play a couple of chords and say what was on their minds. To seriously take on Great Lent, no matter what branch of Christianity you follow, is an act of rebellion against our arrogant and comfort seeking society. We strip down faith to the sacrificial and repentant following of Jesus Christ as he has called us to do.
Even more so, we stive to know God and confess our sins in a more meaninful way. Added prayers from the ancient fathers guide our focus to our deeper issues. It isn’t so much that someone took an ink pen from work, cussed out a stranger, or cheated on their spouse and looks for a legalistic band-aid to cover his/her wound. We deal with deeper ailments that show themselves when we do not fight against them. Anger, fear, lust, envy, laziness, greed; these are the passions that monks and nuns have gone into the deserts and forest to fight against. They have been so gracious as to share with the Church the wisdom they have been blessed with to help us non-monastics with our spiritual journey. If we settle for a mere, “say 20 Hail Marys,” or “well, God knows my heart,” we have only cut the flower of our weeds. Perhaps we may have even cut a few leaves and the stem. Great Lent reminds us to stive to kill the roots of our visible sins. A dead root cannot produce a flower. A wounded root does not readily reproduce. A root left undisturbed will flourish again.
May God grant us His mercy and strength to continue the struggle.