I love Lent.I am always happy to hear that I am dust, and that to dust I shall return.When I close my eyes to pray, I can really tell I am dust. In here where I live, it’s quiet and dark. Simple. Nothing to it. Who am I?
Inwardly quiet and dark,yet full of exploding light in the cave of my heart,just like you.
As St. John of the Cross points out, sometimes what seems like darkness is the over-whelming brilliance of God’s light.Maybe that is why we close our eyes when we pray. Outside what we can see with our senses is wonderful, but only a reflection of the invisible God. When we close our eyes, we are alone in God’s luminous dark within us.
We know there is light in us by faith. We know our being is created in the image of Him who is light. Even though we rightly experience ourselves as dust, our hearts are secretly bright because of Who lives there.
At this time of year, roots, bulbs, and seeds under the soil that have “fallen to the ground and died,” all winter have been nourished by the Lord of mystery and love, though we the farmers are unaware.
How did Jesus rise from the dead? We don’t know. We know it happened, and Scripture says we also will rise, “through the power of his spirit dwelling in us.” And this is so real it is a physical truth as well as a spiritual one.In the dark secret of the tomb Jesus physically and spiritually, in divine mystery, rose again.
I want to follow Jesus into the desert and recommit my life to the Father. I want to share the Passover with Him and the family of the Church, I want to accompany the Lord on the Way of the Cross. I want to wait quietly in the dark simplicity and trust of the grave.
I am dust returning to dust, but my Christian soul is empowered by Him to do and be all these Christly mysteries.
So let us return to be fearlessly this dust in desert wind, this Way of the Cross, this dark quiet of faith, this soil seeded with mystery.
At the same time as we traditionally renew our commitment to Jesus and his mission, to His Church, to the poor and marginalized, to fasting, penance, and to prayer as we know it, let us also re-consecrate ourselves in silence, and holy solitude, resting in the starry night of expectation.
As children of God we know that darkness also brings forth love, unfurls light, and floods our souls with renewed grace during this sacred time we are given that is Lent.We surrender to this Lord of mysterious rising. We consecrate our souls to His purposes in ourselves and what He wants us to bloom into for Him, for this world, for the sake of His Kingdom. We step into this night of Lent consciously.
We can remember this intention in our moments of stillness and waiting. We can take a little time each day also to purposely rest in quiet love and allow ourselves to be prepared for Spring in secret. Let us make Lent a secret retreat into our hearts. It only takes faith, hope, and love and God will pour over us the brightness of his invisible light.
Let this Lent be a time for seeds, for dark, shining mysteries at work in we who believe… until the morning star rises in our hearts.
Warning: God is a creative genius and anything can happen when we surrender to Him completely. We might emerge from Lent new creatures in the power of His Resurrection. Let’s expect it!