post-lent blues

March 29, 2008

So I’ve been having a bit of a crisis this week after Easter. 40 days of Lent was a good challenge, and I was able to go without coffee the whole time (except Sundays). It was a good goal to have.

However, after a really wonderful and meaningful Easter, I felt a bit empty afterwards. Then, after a lot of thought and listening to an excellent podcast, I realized the problem. I had focused so much on Lent as an end in itself, and too little on Lent being a way of becoming more disciplined and self-denying throughout the year.

Our life in Christ is one of discipline and self denial, but too often we think once we learn a lesson or reach a certain plateau or mountaintop, that everything’s going to be easy from there. I can’t really believe that anymore. I have to live a daily life of self-denial and constantly put my flesh to death so that I can participate in God’s life, and not act like His enemy. It’s so extremely hard, but at the same time, so totally rewarding that Jesus can honestly tell us that his burden is easy and his yoke is light. My burden this week at times felt so heavy, as if I were carrying it alone. For some reason, I didn’t feel that way during Lent. Maybe it’s because I knew I was denying myself…….

This prayer from the Eastern Church helped me through Lent; it’s by St. Ephrem the Syrian. I think I need to continue to pray it daily, throughout the year:

O Lord and Master of my life, keep from me the spirit of sloth and discouragement, lust of power and idle chatter.

Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love.

O Lord and King, grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge my brother; for You are blessed now and ever and forever. Amen.

St. Ephrem


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