Quite ironic a greeting from a country known worldwide for long Christmases, Holy Week processions and actual crucifixions right in the land of those-who-drool-for-power Pampanga (a national symptom only).
Seriously, should one deserve to be happy during Lent? I guess so if one has to bracket for a while those moss-covered beliefs that Lent is essentially more about human wickedness and the busy activities of whisking them off through self-denial (i wonder if most still understand what self-denial is because it sounds archaic to me with all its psychological overtone; a better term nowadays is self-forgetfulness or self-emptying); that Lent is essentially more about flagellating ourselves (even if only imaginatively) than about going deeper into our inner fields of alienation from ourselves, from our neighbors, from Creation, and ultimately from God and dwell from there, yes, happily, serenely, confidently more than miserably. I take it from Paul:
“One of Satan’s angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud. Three times I begged the Lord to make this suffering go away. But he replied, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:8-10 – Contemporary English Version)
That Lent is about taking stock of the human condition with all its fragile, broken, wounded, ash-covered, dilapidated, debris-mantled, fear-driven, control-freak-populated landscape – yes. That Lent is about staring at our own mortal programming – yes. That Lent is more importantly about being silent and serene with my own weaknesses in order to allow the wounded God to meet me from there and raise me up – this, i hope will be the cause of my rejoicing this season. So, there’s actually a reason to be happy this Lent, ain’t it? Otherwise, i’ve got a lot of explaining to do with Paul.
Happy Lent to you again…
Photo credit: bighug