Rather than relinquishment, I am thinking of Lent as a time of permission—to pause, to eat mindfully, to renew relationship, to let go of “pleasures” that have become dry or burdensome, and seek deeper pleasure in quiet, solitude, prayer, meditation, making music or art or poetry. To enjoy the early hour before the day’s demands impinge. To light a candle and accept its invitation to inwardness. Maybe even imperatives can become permission: “Don’t do that” could be heard as “You don’t have to do that.” Reframing is helping me reclaim the possibilities of this season, and appreciate in a new way the wisdom of the liturgical year.

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