From someone else's mind



The Church welcomes the lenten spring with a spirit of exultation. She greets the time of repentance with the expectancy and enthusiasm of a child entering into a new and exciting experience. The tone of the church services is one of brightness and light...There is nothing gloomy here, nothing dark or remorseful, masochistic or morbid, anxious or hysterical, pietistic or sentimental. The lenten spirit in the Church is one of splendor and delight...

How sad that people misunderstand the significance of the lenten spring. How distressing that so many take this time "given by God, our Crucified Christ" as a season for sentimental devotions, anxious introspections and pietistic pseudo-sufferings "together with Jesus". And how depressing that others naturalize and rationalize the time spent with tepid explanations about the psychosomatic benefits of abstinence with arguments drawn from one or another therapeutic theory. And how totally tragic that still others reject the whole affair, often with good reason because of its distortion, as a barbarous hangover from the dark ages to be radically rejected in these liberated and modern times.

~The Lenten Spring: Readings for Great Lent by Thomas Hopko

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