“As to your Lent . . . I can only tell you my own experience.”

Wonderful Caryll Houselander writes:

As to your Lent . . . I can only tell you my own experience.  A mass of good resolutions, I think, are apt to end up in disappointment and to make one depressed.  Also direct fault-uprooting: it makes one concentrate too much on self, and that can be so depressing.  The only resolution I have ever found that works is: “Whenever I want to think of myself, I will think of God.”  Now, this does not mean, “I will make a long meditation on God,” but just some short sharp answer, so to speak, to my thought of self, in God.  For example:

“I am lonely, misunderstood, etc.”
“The loneliness of Christ at his trial; the misunderstanding even of his closest friends.”
Or:
“I have made a fool of myself.”
“Christ mocked–he felt it; he put the mocking first in foretelling his Passion–‘The Son of Man shall be mocked, etc.’–made a fool of, before all whom he loved.”
Or:
“I can’t go on, unhelped.”
“Christ couldn’t.  He couldn’t carry the cross without help; he was grateful for human sympathy–Mary Magdalene–his words on that occasion–other examples as they suggest themselves–just pictures that flash through the mind.”  This practice becomes a habit, and it is the habit which has saved me from despair! . . .

Different people have different approaches to Christ.  He has become all things–infant, child, man–so that we all can approach him in the way easiest for us.  The best is to use that way to our heart’s content, and not to trouble about any other.

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