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.
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.