Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lent 2013, XV

XV. If the business of day-to-day life is the redemption of my fallen nature, trying to recapture to some extent the effortless wisdom of unfallen humanity, Lent is something else altogether. All through the year I am striving simply to live at an unfallen human level, but Lent calls us higher and deeper than that. Instead of simply ordering my natural desires and pursuing the most valuable, during Lent I am called to detachment. Detachment is far more than giving up pizza for a time so that I can be healthy and free to enjoy it more fully. It is more than giving up my computer games to make time to spend with family. Those are proper to the conduct of everyday life. If I were truly wise I would choose that as a way of life. Lent, however, is about detaching from natural goods in the pursuit of supernatural goods. It is not simply rising to Adam and Eve’s level of life (though that reclaiming of our nature alone is supernatural enough) but rather, Lent looks forward to the supernatural destiny I have been called to. So the things I give up are not given up for their own sake, but as a symbol of their ultimate insufficiency. It is an acknowledgement that “My heart is restless until it rests in thee.” The denial of a lesser good symbolizes that God is the only good ultimately capable of satisfying my heart.

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