This post comes from one of my absolute most favorite blogs, Glory to God for All Things. In this post, Father Stephen discusses Lent and what it is meant to be, and he gives a list of some things to consider for how we celebrate Lent. We might already be two weeks into it, but we can still improve how we spend this time!
I am linking it here on my blog because I wholeheartedly agree with his premise that traditional practice flourishes our humanity:
Does any of this matter? Why should Christians in the modern world concern themselves with a traditional practice?
What is at stake in the modern world is our humanity. The notion that we are self-authenticating individuals is simply false. We obviously do not bring ourselves in existence – it is a gift. And the larger part of what constitutes our lives is simply a given – a gift. It is not always a gift that someone is happy with – they would like themselves to be other than they are. But the myth of the modern world is that we, in fact, do create ourselves and our lives – our identities are imagined to be of our own making. We are only who we choose to be. It is a myth that is extremely well-suited for undergirding a culture built on consumption. Identity can be had at a price. The wealthy have a far greater range of identities available to them – the poor are largely stuck with being who they really are.
But the only truly authentic human life is the one we receive as a gift from God. The spirituality of choice and consumption under the guise of freedom is an emptiness. The identity we create is an ephemera, a product of imagination and the market. The habits of the marketplace serve to enslave us – Lent is a call to freedom.
On a side note: I know I haven’t been writing much of my own posts lately, and this blog is still sorely lacking in discussion of bodily functions. During Lent, I am focusing a little bit more on reading rather than writing. Plus, I’m sure a lot of other people have more important things to say than I do, and I am simply passing their work on!