There are two moments that matter. One is when you know that your one and only life is absolutely valuable and alive. The other is when you know your life, as presently lived, is entirely pointless and empty. You need both of them to keep you going in the right direction. Lent is about both. The first such moment gives you energy and joy by connecting you with your ultimate Source and Ground. The second gives you limits and boundaries, and a proper humility, so you keep seeking the Source and Ground and not just your small self.
The paradox, of course, is that you find yourself anyway: your Big Self in God and your little self in you. God loves them both. Saint Teresa of Avila summed it up when she said, “We find God in ourselves, and we find ourselves in God.” With such a maxim, she did not likely need a therapist. Yet, I would add, that it is always much more like being found than actually finding anything! As Paul put it, “then I shall know as fully as I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
So during these forty days of Lent, let’s allow ourselves to be known! All the way through. Nothing to hide from, in ourselves, from ourselves, or from God. Allow yourself to be fully known, and you will know what you need to know. This is my desire in writing these meditations. It is in this wondrous loop of divine disclosure, our own now safe self-disclosure, and a healing mutual acceptance—that we grow “in wisdom, maturity, and grace” (Luke 2:40). In fact, that is the way that all love happens, and the only way we grow at all.
—from the book Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent
by Richard Rohr, OFM