The joy and hope of this glorious Easter season blasted into my Lent-weary heart at the Easter Vigil when Emily, one of my close friends, was welcomed into the Catholic Church (!!!!!!!!). She wore white and glowed like a bride. Seeing her journey to this beautiful step has really brought me to the realization that the Lord was pursuing her. He is so in love with her, He just had to lead her right to Himself. As I watched Emily receiving the sacraments and committing herself to the Church, I saw a revolutionary. I saw her become even more His, even more free, and even more full of Love! He brought her to this through His grace and mercy! This is a love story!
This brings me to my point; Easter is the time to fall in love again. It’s spring, there are flowers everywhere, and God has done the most romantic thing any guy could ever do for us! He gave everything to save us, and then rose again so that we would never have to be without Him. Ladies, I’ve been watching my share of Jane Austen movies, and though Edward Ferrars’ proposal to Elinor is pretty adorable, it is nothing compared to how God is wooing us through the beauty of His sacrifice!
My explanation of course is not doing justice to Jesus as a sweet lover, so I invite you all to explore the depths of this yourself. And how? By my favorite way to pray... JOURNALING! So here are some concrete steps for those of us who like methods and guidelines:
1. Reflect on your whole Lent experience. Think about it week by week. What did you learn about yourself? How did you progress in loving God, yourself, and others?
2. Journal about Lent. What do you think God was trying to tell you? How was He showing you His deep love?
3. Make a plan to keep up the good work you have begun in Lent. Don’t worry; you can eat ice cream now! Just keep working on the virtues that sprouted up from your Lenten resolutions.
4. Meditate on God’s love for you. Will you let this love story continue?
Take the time for this journaling session during this week, or break up the steps across different days. Hopefully it opens your eyes just a smidge to the epically romantic gestures the Lord has made to get your attention. He is kind of crazy about you. It’s crazy that He gave up His own life for us when we didn’t deserve it in the slightest.
Reflecting on my own Lenten experience, I see how God was trying to show me His love. During the last six weeks, I became aware of the many ways in my life that I am weak and insufficient – my pride needed to be broken down. Each week left me feeling even more pathetic than the last! But once my pride was out of the way, the Lord could finally get his message across. As Holy Week approached, a recurring theme was brought up in prayer and by others in my life. YOU ARE LOVED. That’s all…because that’s all that matters. My attempts, my failures, even my successes, are about as helpful as a matchstick in a tsunami.
Like a true romantic, the Lord loves us without even giving a thought to our merits. Lent reminds us that we may be basically the worst sometimes, but Easter reminds us that He already saved us regardless! He is bringing us to that happily ever after of our love story. That is what we’re celebrating, after all.
Now go celebrate! Go eat jelly beans for breakfast and sing Alleluia!