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Sigh … it’s Lent again

“… the Spirit [her]self intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words” as quoted by Linus in this past weekend’s Classic Peanuts comic strip. Linus goes on to tell Lucy that “Sighing is scriptural.”

I’m sure glad to be reminded that sighing is scriptural. Because I feel as if I have been sighing for about a year now! Sighing as I’m told I have to wear a mask when I set foot out of my room. Sighing when I have to work from home again. Sighing when I cannot see or visit sisters and family and friends. Sighing when I cannot leave the grounds. And now? I’m sighing because Lent is starting!

I usually don’t mind the Lenten season; it’s just that I feel as if we’ve been “doing Lent” for the past year! Sigh!

So much fasting

For a year now, many have been fasting from a lot of things we enjoy: touching, hugging, sitting close to loved ones, buying groceries in the store, eating in restaurants. For a year now, as we haven’t been able to go anywhere, many have had more time for prayer and reflection. For a year now, almsgiving for many has taken the form of monetary donations to alleviate hunger, meals to elderly neighbors or letter writing concerning social justice issues. All of this might beg the question … what more can I do for Lent?

And, of course, I find myself sighing as I think about it. The only new concrete action I can think of is to stop sighing so much!

So, I have given that some thought.

Less sighing

Why do I sigh? Well, this year, a lot of my sighing is a way to convey my displeasure, a form of complaint, if you will. Wrongly, I sometimes direct my sighing toward the Sisters of Providence Covid-19 Task Force, which makes the rules we all must abide by.  (Stupid on my part, because the rules help make everyone safe and have worked really well!)

So, yes, during Lent I will try to stop sighing, or at least to sigh a lot less! I’ll remember with each stifled sigh that I have so much to be grateful for and that I am so blessed. I will let go annoyance and irritation which can so easily lead to criticism.

Too deep for words

And I’ll hope to get more in touch with that sighing that is “too deep for words” and ask the Spirit to pray within me and to intercede for those who are ill with the virus, who have lost loved ones, who risk their own lives to care for others and to provide essential services.

Have a wonderful Lent everyone!

Looking for something more to do this Lent (other than sighing)? Join the Sisters of Providence for our Scriptures of Lent/Spring virtual sessions.

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Sister Ann Casper

Sister Ann Casper

Sister Ann Casper, SP, retired as the executive director for Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Providence in 2018 and currently serves as minister of Providence Community Cemetery at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Sister Ann has ministered in various scholastic and administrative positions in Indiana and North Carolina. She also was a member of the Sisters of Providence leadership team, serving as General Secretary.

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  1. Avatar Glenda Cordell on February 17, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Excellent comments! I have spent most of this past year “sighing” for those who refuse to abide by the rules the virus has put upon us. I, myself, have been blessed and grateful.

    • Ann Casper, SP Ann Casper, SP on February 17, 2021 at 10:33 am

      Thanks for that reminder, Glenda. I’ve likewise directed much sighing to that group! Another area of sighing for me to stop or lessen …

      Sister Ann

  2. Avatar Paula Modaff, SP on February 17, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Thanks, Ann. I needed your reminder to replace gratitude for complaints.

  3. Avatar Editha Ben on February 17, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for this article, Ann! It speaks to me. Sigh!

  4. Avatar PAULA DAMIANO, SP on February 17, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Ok…..I’ll give this “less sighing” a try.,…at least for today! And, maybe tomorrow….
    Thank you, Ann!

  5. Avatar Brad Crites on February 17, 2021 at 11:11 am

    There certainly have been plenty of reasons to sigh (and cry?) this past year, but there are plenty of reasons to look for a sunrise tomorrow. Thanks for bringing a light to the gray skies we’ve been under. Hoping we’re celebrating soon with sighs nearly forgotten.

  6. Avatar Denise Wilkinson on February 17, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    It’s good to know so many of us are “in the same boat.” At least we’re in good company.

  7. Avatar Ken Siarkiewicz on February 17, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Thank you, Sr. Ann, for your writings. They always bring a smile to my face. I sigh at the end of the day in my prayer corner, in gratitude for all the blessings of the day. I do sigh with sorrow for the daily numbers published in the morning paper for the number of new cases and deaths for the last twenty-four hours. There is an advantage to wearing a mask — it keep my face warm in the cooler temperatures. God bless!

    • Ann Casper, SP Ann Casper, SP on February 18, 2021 at 6:20 am

      Good to hear from you, Ken. Thanks for expressing your “positive” sighs. A good perspective to keep in mind.

      Just curious. what are “cooler temperatures” in Tucson?

      Sister Ann

      • Avatar Ken Siarkiewicz on February 19, 2021 at 3:40 pm

        Highs in the 40s–that’s above zero.

  8. Avatar Kathy Lubeznik on February 18, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    I “sighed” after reading your thoughts; a sigh which included a smile with my own thought that said…”Yep, I am right there with you Sister Ann”…..THANK YOU for sharing ! Stay well……

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