Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rejoice Always Even During Lent

Last Sunday the liturgy reminded us that, even in Lent, we should find a reason to rejoice: it was Laetare Sunday. Life is a gift and no matter the difficulties and the reasons not to rejoice, there are always good reasons to give thanks and rejoice.

In a meditation on Lent which I recently read, the writer mentioned a young man who was working on his doctorate in philosophy and already had job offers to teach. One day, complaining of a severe headache, he went to the doctors and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After the operation, he was not able to read. For three year he lived with the thought that all he had hoped for in life was now not possible. With his dreams turning to ashes, he fell into a deep depression. .

During the period of convalescence, he had contact with others in the same situation. Relating with those who had similar dreams that were smashed but who started dreaming
again of better times enabled him to snap out of his depression.

He found peace in the thought that he was living with those who felt as he did,
alienated, and this gave him new hope. Unfortunately, there are many who have lost everything: their health, their work, their material goods, their honor. Finding it hard to continue, some give up and accept a life without hope; some others decide such a life is not worth living and commit suicide. Fortunately, there are some who, facing the same difficulties, are able to give hope to others. .

Life can be difficult and far from pleasant for many, and Lent is a good time to reflect on this reality. There are many living today who have little to live for; we keep them in our prayers. It's helpful to remember that Lent is also a good time to gain the inner strength to face the problems that may come into our lives.

The key for observing a good Lent is to remember the paschal mystery. We die to one thing to be born to something else and to even a greater good and joy. That is what Lent and Easter should mean to us.

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