So, for forty days, from tomorrow until Easter, I am dedicating my thoughts and meditations to this journey and, as a symbol and a reminder, am swearing off chocolate, candy, and desserts in all forms. It is by no means a large gesture, but I think the point is to have a small but regular reminder of the process. I figure, I consume sweets a couple times a day. So I think the mild pangs of sugar cravings and subsequent self-denial will serve as a good reminder of this journey.
The main point here is an interiorization. It is so difficult for the Western world to interiorize. In the West we always want to see and touch and weigh and measure. But with these things of the spirit, each one of us must undertake that long journey inward in which he or she will meet the Triune God who dwells within us.
It takes kenosis, a stripping of oneself, a totality of surrender. It takes a total interiorization, in which we recollect all our fantastically scattered thoughts. Because symbolically speaking, we must be naked and follow a naked Christ. We can’t take anything with us except faith, hope, and love.
This means giving up our manipulating of other people. It means giving up thinking that one’s ideas are the center of the universe. It means having a simplicity, a childlikeness, like that which Christ said we have to have to enter heaven.
“Lord, give me the heart of a child and the awesome courage to live it out as an adult.” These are the dispositions with which to enter the bright sadness of Lent.
I do hope and believe this will be a meaningful experience.