It’s February. It’s cold. The joy and wonder of Christmas has worn away with the scraping of the driveway for the thirtieth time this winter. February can be a tough month for some in general and our spirits can begin to sag. We may need something to shake us from the ‘winter doldrums’. There are sinful, negative parts of my life that I want to cast off, to die, to allow a new habit or way of being a disciple in the world. This portion of a Lenten prayer from Henry Nouwen speaks to this desire:
“How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death? Yes, Lord, I have to die—with you, through you, and in you—and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess…. I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it. O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.”
Having a fresh start, officially on both the calendar and in our faith lives can be just what we need to move our hearts and minds to a new focus; not on our own fluctuating feelings, but on the internal life that we need to foster with Jesus. Whether we think we have the will to move past these winter blues, Christ and the Holy Church supports us in this continuous journey forward on our road to the glorious resurrection, ultimately.