Lent was especially beneficial and a rather easy spiritual practice this year. I toned my Lenten practices down this year, to the dismay of my more dedicated friends, because I wanted to actually carry them through the entire Lenten season and make a gift of myself to the Lord instead of failing miserably after two weeks. It was very rewarding and humbling to pass on my small gift to the Lord whereas my past failures are only humbling. Perhaps I haven't learned the humility lesson yet, as I blog about my exploits, but it was a great gift from God to learn a different lesson for a change even if it ultimately turned out to be a painful one.
The lesson this time around was, "Easy Lent, hard Easter". The Octave of Easter was exceedingly difficult because joy would not come. My job was torturous, life was hectic, my civil leaders were ignorant if not downright malicious and I was a regular Mr. Grumpypants. My understanding of joy has deepened to the realization that joy should be present at all times. No matter if the situation is a happy one or a sad one, whether it is a beautiful Vigil Mass at my parish or watching the government destroy the future of my children and grandchildren, joy should be lived because the Lord of All has conquered death and He welcomes us into His eternal abode.