It is Lent.

Oh, is it Lent!

What I wouldn’t give for a good old fashioned hair shirt with some bread and water on the side.  Predictable.  Bland.  Controlled.

I know there was nothing of the predictable in Christ’s 40 days in the desert.  It was the desert, after all.  And Satan?  Well, I hate that guy.

And yet . . .

And yet the enemy prowls and sets up camp and spreads doubt like a wild fire.  He sees my weaknesses and tempts, no loaves of bread or parapets needed to lure this sorry heart.

Pshaw.  If only.

Our Lent, almost two weeks spent, has been unruly.  Like a two-year old, easy and compliant, making us fall in love in one minute and raging with selfish, indignant anger the next.  The storms that have come I fear I have weathered poorly and I contemplate my wounds and defeats in embarrassment and shame.

“Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault . . . “

Last week I told Sabine that I’m all for despair.  Not the real, honest-to-goodness kind mind you, but the woe-is-me variety.  “I will let you know when it’s time for despair.  Now is not it.”

Not yet.

Tomorrow another day will dawn and with it new graces.  There will be abundant opportunities for growth in virtue and holiness.  I can begin again.  And when the dramas and attitudes and my own selfish heart rub and scratch at my soul worse than sackcloth on skin, I will have new chances to let go and grab on all at once.  “For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  (Philipians 4:13)

Amen.  Thanks be to God.