Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This year Roman Catholic UUs will chuckle their way through Lent

Today, February 14, 2018 is Ash Wednesday as well as Valentine's Day. We, Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalists find this day especially delightful because this first day of Lent coincides with this celebration of romantic love.

A day usually reserved for penitential remembrance that we art dust and dust we shall return is overlapped with Eros. How's that for absurdity, incongruity, and humor? While you are chuckling, notice that Easter Sunday this year is also on April 1st, traditionally celebrated as April Fool's day.

As St. Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians, we followers of Jesus are God's misfits, we are fools for Christ.

The best way to celebrate Lent is with a huge sense of humor as we turn further from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit. This turning requires a giving up, a letting go, a moving away from worldly cares and concerns. We become so much in love and get so excited we forget to eat, our food doesn't mean much to us any more because it is not the pleasure it once was when we have more peaceful things to pursue.

Lent is not so much about giving up but a moving toward Love and therefore a moving away from things of the ego. We focus on things of peace and bliss, and the things of the world are seen as a distraction and maybe even an imposition which becomes an obstacle to the road that we are desiring to travel.

Unitarian Universalist know that God loves us unconditionally and awaits our union with God to extend Love into the world. Lent is about eschewing what would hamper us, constrain us, impede our movement to the divine.

For 40 days Jesus went into a remote area to find solitude and fast so He could spend relaxing time with God. During Lent we emulate Jesus' example as best we are able given our circumstances. Few of us have the resources to be able to go on retreat for 40 days physically, but we can go on retreat mentally by separating ourselves from worldly distractions, annoyances, intrusions as best we are able. We just want some more alone time with the divine in solitude and with similarly minded others.

There are many Roman Catholic UUs and we can bring the richness of our faith tradition to the attention of others who also would enjoy and benefit from our fellowship and practice. As these 40 days pass, UUAWOL will offer some further reflections on the precious treasures of the season.

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