Nearing the End of Lent

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Perhaps it is too soon to let go of Lenten longings, but it is never too soon to remember that they “accomplish” nothing. We make the great and terrible efforts, but they are just efforts, and they have no real merit. “There is no calamity but Sin alone,” Thomas Traherne writes. To embrace that truth, to recognize sin as the great disrupter and abyss in our lives, means relentlessly refusing peace with it. And yet, in the midst of that fierce battle, we hear a tune above the fray, a high and holy cry of victory that comes not out of our own claim of conquest, but from far off, behind us or perhaps ahead of us somewhere. It bids us fight with greater joy and greater confidence that our enemy is, in fact, vanquished.

 

TRIPPING OVER JOY

What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves. ~ Hafez

 

 

Image by torbakhopper, via Flickr C.C.

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