Keep A True Lent
Lent for spring referencing that in spring the days become noticeably longer. In the Christian tradition, the Lenten season is the forty days including 6 comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Sundays of prayer and fasting that precedes Easter. Like spring, Lent and Easter are times for rebirth and renewal.
Coincidence or not, it’s also a time of celebration and remembrance for other Spiritual Practices and religions. Christianity’s observations include Lent, the days of Holy Week and Easter. Judaism has Passover. Japanese Buddhists celebrate and reflect on the birth of Buddha. Pagans and other earth-based denominations celebrate the spring equinox.
Even those who are not necessarily practicing Christians see Lent as an opportunity to fast or give up some pleasures which frequently include food and drink. They see it as a time to focus on the Risen Christ through prayer, meditation and quiet reflection. More and more I hear that Lent is not about giving up things. It is about releasing or fasting from negative thoughts and feelings, focusing on unity (Oneness) and focusing on the God Presence within all. It is also a time to laugh and joyfully celebrate the good in our lives. These are choices we could make every day not just during Lenten seasons.
Ernest Holmes writes,
“in every apparent death is a resurrection. Therefore, today, gladly I die to everything that is unlike the good. Joyfully I am resurrected into that which is beautiful, enduring and true.”
It is said that beyond religious beliefs and celebrations, there can be another meaning for Easter. For anyone who wishes to be renewed or to begin again, it can be a time of personal renewal and rebirth. A time much like New Years where one reexamines or reevaluates their behaviors to determine if their choices are in alignment with their goals. It can be a time to choose at least one thing that no longer serves us that we would like to release and make a firm decision to eliminate that behavior and replace it with one that better supports our intentions.
In his book Keep A True Lent Charles Fillmore, the founder of Unity writes,
“The Grace of God extends to all people, not alone to one sect or Creed. All men [and women] are equal in favor with God. The Grace of God is greater than the laws of man.”
During this season of renewal, rebirth and celebrating the Christ whose legacy is the message of love, forgiveness and the “brotherhood” of men and women; I give thanks for this philosophy, religion and way of life that recognizes, embraces and honors the many paths to the One God. And so it is!!