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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Get Ready, Get Set.....Another Week Closer to Ash Wednesday!

I'm still trying to decide what to do for Lent in addition to my usual little plan of life. This morning I read a quote from Dostoevsky from Crime and Punishment: 

"Pain and suffering are always inevitable to a large intelligence and a deep heart." 

Fyodor Dostoevsky

It kind of made me laugh, because pain and suffering are also inevitable to a low intelligence and a shallow heart; although I expect he meant that those with high intelligence and deep    hearts have a greater capacity to suffer. The pain touches them more deeply perhaps, because they understand it more and recognize how deserving they are because of their sins. And if     they are more sensitive of heart, perhaps they realize more fully how sin offends God. Certainly many of the saints could be described in that way.

At any rate, I've been mulling about it this morning and thinking perhaps one Lenten resolution should be to say thank you every time I have an opportunity to feel pain and to suffer. A more natural response is to whine and complain. 

Hmm....I could put an index card on my mirror and read it every morning. If I have a physical ache or pain or am insulted or rebuked, I could offer that with thanksgiving to God. 

Many people who wish us ill and are "enemies" in the Biblical sense can do us an incredible amount of good. Even Satan, the tempter, helps us develop spiritual muscle when we resist him. We can think of him and his demon apprentices as the resistance bands we use when we exercise. "Take that, satan!" Pull! "Take that, satan!" Pull! And then we can do our punches! "Take that, satan!" Punch! "Take that, satan!" Punch!

We still have prep time to give thought to how we can grow closer to God this Lent. Let's not waste these weeks that set the mark for our six weeks marathon. 

Please pray for me as I am praying for you. May we all have a blessed and grace-filled Lent.

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