This is not the Lenten season any of us would have expected. Annually Lent is a time of grace, a time we choose to do some serious spiritual housecleaning. As one homilist put it: it is the spring training of our spiritual lives. A time to brush up on basic discipleship skills so that we can hit the proverbial “home run” during the rest of the year.
This year, because of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, fasting has taken on a new meaning as many dioceses suspend Masses until after Easter. This means that we are now fasting from the Eucharist itself. This gives us an opportunity to rediscover its importance in our lives. There is nothing like being involuntarily deprived of something to bring home its significance and value to us personally.
This imposed fasting from Eucharist also gives us the opportunity to experience what so many Catholics in other countries experience weekly, that is, the absence of Eucharist because there are not enough priests, and with others in our own country whose jobs or other responsibilities do not allow them the opportunity. We now stand in solidarity with them in longing for the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation.
Maybe this isn’t the Lent we expected, but it is the Lent that we have, and it can still be a time of tremendous grace both for ourselves and for those we pray for and with in solidarity.
– Blog entry and photo by Sister Joyce Lehman