This is the last week of Lent, and I can hardly believe it!
And now it's time to reflect a little bit on Lent. Was it anything big, spiritual, transformational? I always enter into Lent with high hopes and great expectations. And I'm always somewhat struck by the ordinariness of it all. We fast, and attend church more (and get grumpy more!), and pray more and give alms intentionally more and go to confession for the grumpiness (among other things)...and yet it's all done by the same old "me". Instead of a big tranformational moment of glory its just the drips and drabs of an ordinary life lived in pursuit of communion with God.
My eyes are thus opened to my own poverty. The smallness of my own faith. How lax my efforts are, and how easily I dismiss the still small voice in favor of chasing my own desires and passions.
And it's so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of this business of life. What am I going to feed the kids? Does everyone have clean clothes to wear? What foods do I need to buy next week? I need to get some sewing done! And for heaven's sake, I ought to BLOG something profound!!!!! Surely there's something profound happening here, and I ought to have something to say about it????
But then I come back into that realization of my own poverty of thought, poverty of spirit, and I think of how remedial all of this is. I think of how I really do need the prayer of St. Ephraim. I think about standing beside the way to the cross next week, and participating in those events with a poor heart.
Perhaps Lent has done its work, after all.
Prayer of St. Ephraim:
O Lord and Master of my life
take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather a spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.
Yes, Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother.
For blessed art Thou unto ages of ages, amen.