1. The End of the Lenten Journey

(Please note: I entered two pieces this weekend, please read the former first, if you haven't already.)

When I woke up the next morning I could see in the distance that my journey was almost at an end. Honestly, I have to say that I was glad. It wasn’t that I didn’t still love the Lenten shore but I was hungry and the buildings and noise were annoying me so much anyway that I figured that it may not matter if I wasn’t on the shore anymore. The gems taught me about my weaknesses and how I needed to change; I was very grateful for that.

Two weeks have gone by already and I don’t remember if it was before or after that morning when I encountered the demons. I don’t want to give them much publicity so I won’t go into detail about how they tried to erase everything I had learned. Some people blame the demons for just about everything bad. I don’t think it matters where the problem comes from; it should be treated with the same cure. I figure that it’s worse to think that nothing is your fault because the devil made you do it, than to think that you have a lot of growing up to do. So I usually take the blame. This way, the demons learn that bringing me down will only make me a little better in the long run. They don’t bother me too much, but at the end of this Lenten journey their pranks were a little obvious.

I consoled myself by turning my mind to the journey Jesus took into the desert after His baptism. That must have been the very first Lent. It was Jesus’ own Lent that we want to emulate on the Lenten shore. I thought a lot about how He was hungry at the end too and how the devil bugged Him at the end too. 1) If you’re hungry turn this stone into bread. --Man shall not live by bread alone. 2) If you’re the son of God, why don’t you jump off this roof and let the angels catch you. –Don’t put God to the test. 3) If you will worship me, I’ll give you all the lands you see. – You shall worship God alone. Remembering how the demons tested Jesus Christ made me feel stronger.

I walked slowly and deliberately off the long Lenten shore and into Holy Week with the precious gems in my heart. On Monday, my friend John died. John had spent the past twelve years fighting internal cancerous ‘beasties’. He tried so hard to live and he tried so hard to die well that some mornings he woke up not quite sure what kind of a day it would be, a living day or a dying day. When God wouldn’t take him on his dying days, John wondered why not. After all those years of living days and dying days, God finally took John on the most perfect day of the year. Most of John’s friend went to church that night, so they could light candles for him and think about him a lot in the presence of the Lord. This way John would have all the help he could get to make his holy journey. We didn’t just think about John on the day he died, we were in church every day for a week, and sometimes twice a day lighting those candles for John and thinking about him in the presence of the Lord. If God wondered what to do with John, He didn’t have to wonder for long. All our love was pushing John to the bright side. I’ll have to remember that when it’s my time to go.

This year as I looked up at Christ on the cross I could tell that He wasn’t very happy about what He had to go through. But for the first time, instead of looking at Him suffering and feeling sorry for Him las if I were watching a movie or a play, I saw Him as being baptized up there with us. Since Saint Paul said we are baptized into His death, then His death is our baptism. It hurt less to be baptized than to be hated and killed. There we were being crucified, baptized, and singing like angels about it as if it was all one thing.

Since it has been almost two months since the western sister has even thought about Lent and Easter, it is time to finally close the door on this chapter about Lent and Easter, except to remind everyone that it is Easter every Sunday because Jesus Christ is still risen.