Well, I’m stunned. Usually I’m a bit lost during Lent and I didn’t really expect it to be any different this year, but we’re just three days in and I can see quite clearly what He would like me to focus on. It started with me having trouble with #1 of the Examen: Ask God for light. I want to look at my day with God’s eyes, not merely my own. Looking at my day [and presumably myself] through God’s eyes is easy if I want to admit to the negative, to where I’ve failed, to where I blew it. (in the “shortcomings” part of the Examen we could write a tome, couldn’t we). But I don’t believe that God is looking at us so harshly – He wants us to know Him as someone who longs to fill our lives with love and encouragement. He wants us to know where we got it right. Yet it’s difficult to acknowledge even to ourselves, let alone in something “out there”, where we did get it right. Now, look at what’s come forth in just the last couple of days:
1) In the comments for my Ash Wednesday Examen, C writes: “I wonder if He saw in my day more, less or the same amount of my failure”, and Owen says, “…being out-there during Lent can be a witness rather than allowing things to go dark.”
2) In the Ash Wednesday video/podcast from 24-7 Prayer, host Pete Greig states, “…what we find harder sometimes is to confess the light, confess the signs of God’s presence.” The episode is entitled “Light in the Darkness”, the blurb reads: “Where do you see God’s light in your life?” and it is based on John 1.
3) The book I was reading on the bus this morning quoted Ephesians 5:8-10 “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…”
4) The priest who heard my confession today spoke of darkness and light, of spiritual battle, and the fact that it wasn’t exterior, but in the heart.
I don’t think He could make it much clearer. Focus on the light. We are children of light. We are to confess it, because He is the light. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving, in the light. Walk through the forty days in the light. We don’t have to wait until Easter. He is Risen.