I Gave Up Detours for Lent

As we move through Holy Week I thought we could take a look back over Lent. What did you do for Lent? And how did that go?

I gave up detours for Lent.

I mentioned this over the weekend during one of my classes at the Tulsa Workshop. I was talking about the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I specifically mentioned this passage from A Story of a Soul:
The Lord, in the Gospel, explains in what His new commandment consists. He says in St. Matthew: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies...pray for those who persecute you." No doubt, we don't have any enemies in Carmel, but there are feelings. One feels attracted to this Sister, whereas with regard to another, one would make a long detour in order to avoid meeting her. And so, without knowing it, she becomes the subject of persecution. Well, Jesus is telling me that it is this Sister who must be loved...
Thérèse describes in this passage how we often take "detours" around the annoying and unlikable people in our lives. Thérèse goes so far as to describe these detours as forms of persecution. Consequently, a practice of the Little Way involves not taking these detours and seeking out loving interaction with these people in our lives.

So that's one of things I did for Lent. I gave up detours. I tried to welcome everyone in my life. Even when there are...um...feelings.

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2 thoughts on “I Gave Up Detours for Lent”

  1. I've been working on this as well. And sometimes . . . it's really, really hard.

    I have a neighbor whom I'm not particularly keen on hanging out with. So much so, that I'm often looking for excuses to skip parties at their house. A few weeks back we had a major snowstorm which left us with two and a half feet of snow. I spent all of Saturday clearing my fairly long driveway. On Sunday, I looked out the window to see my neighbor and one of his employees shoveling his even longer driveway (easily twice as long as mine). And I heard a "voice" reminding me, "if you really mean it, then you better get over there." And so I grabbed my shovels and spent the next hour and a half helping them clear the driveway.

    It was cathartic and transformational. And maybe a little transcendent too.

  2. Love the sentiment of that voice: "If you really mean it..." I hear that same message in my heart all the time.

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