Lent 2013, XV

XV. If the business of day-to-day life is the redemption of
my fallen nature, trying to recapture to some extent the effortless wisdom of
unfallen humanity, Lent is something else altogether. All through the year I am
striving simply to live at an unfallen human level, but Lent calls us higher
and deeper than that. Instead of simply ordering my natural desires and
pursuing the most valuable, during Lent I am called to detachment. Detachment
is far more than giving up pizza for a time so that I can be healthy and free
to enjoy it more fully. It is more than giving up my computer games to make
time to spend with family. Those are proper to the conduct of everyday life. If
I were truly wise I would choose that as a way of life. Lent, however, is about
detaching from natural goods in the pursuit of supernatural goods. It is not
simply rising to Adam and Eve’s level of life (though that reclaiming of our
nature alone is supernatural enough) but rather, Lent looks forward to the
supernatural destiny I have been called to. So the things I give up are not
given up for their own sake, but as a symbol of their ultimate insufficiency. It
is an acknowledgement that “My heart is restless until it rests in thee.” The
denial of a lesser good symbolizes that God is the only good ultimately capable
of satisfying my heart.

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