What will convince the world, and - infinitely more importantly - what will convince us of the validity of our faith and all the truth she professes is not comfort, not the statement that "this will make me happy," but the witness of those being happy when they have nothing but their faith. The rich, old, country club preacher saying grace is not much to rally around. But what hope there is in finding out that there is tremendous grace after a day without eating! What affirmation it is to learn that no, we do not believe because we are comfortable, we believe because it is true! To have the grace to praise God in our suffering!Now that's what I call the spirit of a Christian soldier marching onward into Lent. Maybe even running headlong.
Plus it's badass. There's just no other way to put it. What else can you call a Church that specifically sets aside 40 days for it's followers to make their own lives difficult? It's as if the government mandated that, for the month of May, alarm clocks were to be replaced with getting punched in the face, for the sole purpose that it would make you stronger, and appreciate alarm clocks more. The Church looks at her children and does not say 'how cute' - she says 'shape up'. "Oh you're rich, happy and full? Well for no other reason than that it will make you stronger, be poor, in pain and hungry." Aaaaaw snap. Where there is no pain, the Church requires it. Run that one over to the humanists, see what they think.
"... the witness of those being happy when they have nothing but their faith."
That's just the inspiration I need to make me think seriously about my Lenten penance ... and embrace it!