For what it’s worth, here is what I think. You and me do the best we can with what we have to work with at any given moment and sometimes our best is not all that great . . . It ain’t even all that good sometimes. As a result people and other living things and not a few inanimate objects suffer. We grieve because we still have a heart—broken at the moment but a heart nevertheless; we feel guilt because we still have a conscience that knows right from wrong even if we don’t always do right from wrong. So, we take both our broken heart and our guilty conscience to our blessed Lord and ask him to heal them both. And He will. In His time and in His way we shall be made whole again. . .or at least some reasonable facsimile thereof, given that we are made of dust.
To prepare myself, I participated in a pre-Lenten Day of Reflection sponsored by the Ladies Society of my parish. The facilitator spoke of the spiritual graces of Lent. One theme explored was Lent as a time to return home. Repent, she explained, means to return home.
Throughout the day we sang the refrain from the Jim Farrell hymn:
A concept thesaurus explained that homesickness is a word related to repentance. This reminded me of the parable about the Prodigal Son who had forsaken his home and family, taken his inheritance, and subsequently squandered it on loose living. When he hit rock bottom, he repented of his ways and returned to his Father's house to find that his father unconditionally welcomed him.Save your people, O Lord.Show us the way to come home.We have been wondering far from your love.Save your people, O Lord.
Although I'm not completely ready for Lent, I'm preparing.
First quotation: Joanne K. McPortland at her blog Egregious Twaddle
Second quotation: Refrain from hymn, "Save Your People," by Jim Farrell, in Breaking Bread 2008.