962 PINEY WAY
9 3 4 4 2
Rev. Edward J. Holterhoff, Pastor
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Sunday, March 7, 2021
Expressions by Father Ed
Lent as Improv
While some may still consider Lent as a penitential season filled with voluntary hardships and sacrifices,I prefer to interpret it as a time of imagination and creativity for these are essential qualities for any kind of transformation. Lent is not meant to narrow or limit the possibilities of life but to expand and enrich them. The Coronavirus pandemic, already a year old and spanning two Lenten seasons, has inflicted enough suffering and stress without adding more. Treating Lent as a laboratory of life seems much more valuable. Even those who are not actively religious can use Lent as a workshop to invent new paradigms of living.
Accordingly, Lent is an experiment, not a repeat of previous experiences. Each year is different and thus requires new approaches. Using the same homilies every year would fail to address current situations just as much as doing the same annual Lenten practices. Lent is a time to test new strategies. Lent, like an incubator, is premised on original and small initiatives, giving them the possibility to take shape and grow. It is about inducing life and making it more viable. It is about nurturing and encouraging life, important priorities in this time of the Coronavirus. Whatever it takes to hasten healing in this pandemic supports life. This is not a time to emphasize individual rights but collaborative efforts because the survival of the world is at stake.
Lent also is an artistic moment. Like any creative pursuit, it is a tentative project with starts and re-dos, and constantly changing directions and endeavors. Unlike in religion, failures, mistakes, and detours are not sins but inherent parts of the artistic process. Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, described his own writing as a fitful experience, writing and then ripping it up and doing it again and again. Lent is a context of liberation, similar to what a dancer feels. It is an opportunity for exuberance, not endurance, for passion, not penance. It is a season for the soul.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, there is a contemporary event space called The Centre For The Less Good Idea. It recognizes that “artistic work often starts with a good idea” that doesn’t always work but leads to a “secondary idea that touches things you didn’t know were inside of you.” Lent is a similar kind of space that can help us “follow the impulses, connections, and revelations” of the spirit and “allow us to see the world differently” than we otherwise would. The artistic world is a good model for Lent.
WEEKLY MASS INTENTIONS
+ Joann Teufel by Theresa
+ Padre Pio by Alfred Magallanes
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