Monday, February 11, 2013

preparing for Lent

I have decided to keep Lent this year. I have never done so and have spent the past week or fortnight wondering what it is I might do. I've overheard conversations, spoken and online, in which a conversant gives something up: chocolate, coffee, and facebook are items I've commonly heard. I could give up meat, but then I don't eat much anyway. I could commit to praying the Daily Office twice a day, and that would indeed be good discipline. It isn't in my heart (yet?), though, and I don't want to (re)train myself in scrupulous rule-keeping this year. 

Then I found this poem and I think it is exactly what I will do:

For Lent, 1966
by Madeleine L'Engle
It is my Lent to break my Lent,
To eat when I would fast,
To know when slender strength is spent,
Take shelter from the blast
When I would run with wind and rain,
To sleep when I would watch.
It is my Lent to smile at pain
But not ignore its touch.
It is my Lent to listen well
When I would be alone,
To talk when I would rather dwell
In silence, turn from none
Who call on me, to try to see
That what is truly meant
Is not my choice. If Christ’s I’d be
It’s thus I’ll keep my Lent.