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King Lear in Lent

It is an undeniable human fact that we are more comfortable around those who honor and extol our achievements (real or imagined) than we are with those who speak as bluntly and unflatteringly as they deem necessary. Yet the truth is often painful, and an unwillingness to welcome criticism along with praise is the surest way to spiritual stagnation. If we are unwilling to recognize that flattery and comfort are useless tools in the quest for self-perfect, we may find ourselves unable to act upon the truth when it is presented to us by those who place our needs before their own.

And so, as Lent draws to a close, let us embrace this yearly reminder to distance ourselves from those "vices of pleasantness plague us." It's time for us to realize that we could all do with a few more Cordelias.

(King Lear is available through Netflix's Watch Instantly. But it can also be found on the Great Performances section of the PBS website, along with a cornucopia of fascinating support material.)

3/26/2012 4:00:00 AM