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Dear Leo...

It is the beginning of Lent, a special time in the Church year.  This year you have given me a lot to think about in my spiritual life.  I won't bore you with the details.  Some of it is overblown in my head, my own mental demons.  Some of it is not scrutinized enough and slips by unnoticed (and I rely on other people to point things out).  The point is during Lent all those meaningful yet dramatic self reflections find new content and find a new orientation.  Like an archer that shoots an arrow towards its target Lent is the time when it feels like the arrow is loaded into the bow and drawn back.   There almost isn't enough time for self reflection because the whole world is moving now towards that target which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit in the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 
But the purpose of Lent is for something much simpler.   That is where you come in because so much of the last six months has been a desperate search for answers.  I want answers to all of this mess.  Why did it happen?  Who's fault is it?  What is your future going to look like?  What is my future going to look like? 
Some of this may sound silly to you but now you see where the sad state of us adults really kicks in.  It's the endless striving, the misplaced desires, and the anxiety that ruins us.  It is an endless search for control amid a chaotic state.  It is the putting in order what cannot be ordered, a denial of death, a cover-up.  It is the whole world's conspiracy against me.  It's someone or something to blame far outside of myself in that desperate search for answers.     
Then Lent comes and I have to pick up the pieces of that yearly charade.  The humanity that is broken because of misplaced desires is called back to wholeness, slowly, one prayer at a time, one step at a time until all of us are in step with Christ.  Then I realize in a profound way it is not easy to do, because even in the Gospels those closest to Him, His own apostles, abandon Him in the 11th hour.  Those who were following him fall off and are witnesses to the events of salvation that all of Scripture speaks about.  It is nothing of their own doing only God's.  Then they rise with Him in newness of life and this Gospel spreads throughout the whole world! 
Sorry Leo, a bit of crash course in theology there.  What I wanted to say is thank you for providing the spiritual content for me this year.  In my search for answers, mostly about you, my humanity is loosened and it withers in the yearly struggle.  My turning towards repentance and renewal is what the Lenten season is all about.  Somehow in the past I mixed that up with a bit of nostalgia and sentimentality.  Now the terms are laid out for me in the face of things that threaten to pull my humanity apart.  May this Lenten season be at the very least a chance to see the world put right-side-up in the end.  If things go well for us, my world, and yours, will reflect this new reality better in the years to come.   Please forgive me my Son!   


  1. Thank you for the magnified lessons of your life that you graciously share. Despite all the struggles that attempt to tug you away from what is essential, your hearts remain focused. Glory to God!


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