Let us not make Lent this Lent a dark and dreary trudge...find some solitude and work from there.
Christina Brennan Lee says over at People's Prayers,
"Let's not make this Lent a dark and dreary trudge through the wilderness of gloom and doom. Life is a gift of God, a treasure, a miracle. While we must take the time to examine our sins and acknowledge the everyday idols that lead us astray, let us also do as Fr. Richard Rohr suggests - learn what our sins can teach us about ourselves. We go through much of life unconsciously and we can't get rid of something we don't know we have. Lent is a time to look closely and discover what we've been hiding in the basement of our souls. Just like Spring cleaning - or Fall if you're in the southern hemisphere - it's time to awaken to the best of ourselves, re-discover what it means to commit our lives to Christ, and throw the sin out with the trash. Let us repent with eagerness, with attention and intention, let us turn toward the Light and thrive."
Got it! Read the whole thing HERE. Its short and meditative and just right.
And as to where we might go to do the looking, to do the reawakening, try the hermits cell, or the quiet of the forest, or the solitude of the wilderness. Jim Friedrich, the Religious Imagioneer, begins a series of meditations on solitude. Read the first one HERE.
He begins with several quotes from seekers of solitude, one was Patrick Leigh Fermor.
"in the seclusion of a cell… the troubled waters of the mind grow still and clear, and much that is hidden away and all that clouds it floats to the surface and can be skimmed away; and after a time one reaches a state of peace that is unthought of in the ordinary world."
"We don’t know the names of the first hermits, or exactly what drove them to flee their social world for the solitude of wilderness. Not every reason was spiritual, nor did every hermit aspire to higher consciousness. The woods and wastelands have seen their share of outlaws and misanthropes. But for many whose names we revere (such as Moses, Buddha and Jesus), as well as for countless saints who have successfully achieved anonymity, the desert, the mountaintop, the island and the forest primeval have been crucial habitats for the work of the soul.
You go to the wilderness both to lose and to gain. You lose habitual patterns and social roles, along with addictive comforts, clocks, calendars, distractions, noise, news, and the various stresses of public and personal life. You gain time, silence, solitude, freedom, wild nature, and the occasional attention of both angels and demons. If you don’t leave too soon, you may also discover a voice which has kept you company since the day of your birth, a voice which has waited patiently until your inner silence grew deep enough to hear it."
Read the whole thing HERE. And go back to read the followup essays!
So, dear friends, don't take Lenten life too seriously, sit lightly with the time, but find silence and solitude. Somewhere deep within the noise of the busy world there is your cell, and there is the beginning of happiness, not gloom.