When I was in Vienna I spent a day just going into churches. This was before my conversion to the Catholic faith, but I love these huge beautiful churches. In one church I was walking through admiring all the beautiful work and in one corner, behind a pillar where few if any people would ever see, was the most delicately painted angel – small and hidden. Who knows who painted this little master piece, some unknown apprentice – but the love of the artist gleamed through this little angel’s face. It reflected not just the talent of the artist but the love of God which fired the heart and created art.
I saw this video for the first time today and obviously it resonated with me. I couldn’t help be draw the parallel with St. Therese and her “little way” of Mother Theresa’s thoughts on the importance of doing small things with great love. It seems a perfect thing to share for Lent.
I seem to have two kinds of Lent. The first is that kind of Lent where I do Lent. I think a bit before hand, I give up something that is difficult, but not overwhelming. I read more, I pray more, I attend mass regularly and it is really a good experience – I am richer for it by the end. I feel closer to God on Easter and life is good. That is not the kind of Lent I am having this year.
This year Lent is one of those that happens to me. I don’t feel quite prepared in the first place and then it just sort of happens. Sad things happen, tragic things even. Or good things happen but they bring their own basket of stress and worry. There is beauty and joy — warmer days, blossoming trees, good friends, happy children, and life and spring, but the on the balance it feels hard. Then Easter comes and it feels different. It is a finish line; it is a door to walk through and leave Lent behind. I find myself closer to God because I have needed him so much and life is precious. That is the Lent we are having this year.
So, I have been totally overwhelmed the past two weeks and have been seriously remiss in my blogging efforts. I am still working on my 40 bags but I haven’t been updating as well as I would like.
But I have to say it has been really fun hearing about how many people are doing the 40 trash bag thing this year. I guess it has been sent out to a bunch of email lists and has been on a few forums. I hope everyone who is doing it gets something valuable out of it and has a better Lent for the letting go of stuff.
This morning I am thinking about how nice it feels to get some small thing done. Focusing on the small, needed task is a source of happiness. I just wish there weren’t so very many little things that need to be taken care of at the moment.