So last weekend, I took it upon myself to read out the annual regulations for Lent that my bishop sent out. They were printed in the bulletin too, so it wasn’t like I was trying to over step my bounds or anything. Plus, they are the same regulations as last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year…. you get the point, there aren’t any changes here. I certainly mentioned that these are minimums, and aren’t meant to limit the christian penance of Lent. I might have strongly suggested that doing minimums is not really cutting it, and that adding some other penance, especially Fasting, Almsgiving and Prayer is important and not taking Lent seriously is a bad idea. I might have said that. Yea, I said that.
I didn’t really expect that would be radical though. I didn’t expect to shock people. This is the standard teaching of the Church, not some wild, crazy idea the old fuddy-duddy deacon has. I mean, it’s on the diocesan letterhead addressed to all the faithful, it’s not some ultra traditional hardcore stuff.
Yet, I was called out for being “too hard” and “overly serious”. Some people felt “uncomfortable”. I only have one thing to say.
YES! That’s it! Awesome! Uncomfortable was exactly what I was going for! This is Lent, and you need to stop being comfortable. You need to stand up and fight sin! We are at war here folks, and the devil is winning these battles, mostly because we are TOO comfortable. Now is the proper time for repentance, and if you are comfortable, then you aren’t repenting. That’s all there is to it.
That’s all I want to say. Get uncomfortable this Lent, step outside of your comfort zone, and try on some real penance. Make it hurt a little. How many lives do you have exactly? Just one right? Get to it.
Minimums are for school children. Penance is for Saints.