From my beloved godfather, Father Stephen Freeman, rector of St. Anne in Oak Ridge:
Our default position within modern America is some form of atheistic or agnostic materialism. On a bad day, we barely believe in God but remain utterly convinced of the power of the market and the engine of industry.
Lent comes to take on even greater importance in such a setting – for we are not only seeking to repent – we seek to believe. And Lent makes it clear that the two are not separate things but mutually interdependent. Without repentance, there can be no belief in the God Who Is. To know God – to actually know Him – repentance is indispensable. Only a broken and contrite heart can know God.
There are many things that break our hearts, and many others that bring us to the point of contrition. But often these very crushing blows drive us only deeper into ourselves and despair. Thus the need of Great Lent.
To be broken by grace and crushed by the hand of God is far kinder than the treatment we receive from the world. To take up the Churchâ€™s Way of Life during Lent, and to lean into it, will always put us on a path towards brokenness and contrition. But there is a world of difference between the brokenness and contrition that comes as the gift of grace and the brutality of the worldâ€™s humiliation.
Read it all: Lent in the South Â« Glory to God for All Things
If Father Stephen’s blog isn’t on your blogroll, fix yourself!
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