When I was confirmed and began formal discernment for holy orders, I was fortunate to be under the priestly care of Mtr. Rhonda Mawhood Lee, who writes beautifully about Lent disciplines today over on Faith & Leadership:
These friends are relieved when I tell them that self-examination, repentance, fasting and self-denial are challenging Lenten disciplines for me, too. That’s not because I’m particularly sinful, self-indulgent or lazy, although I can be all those things simultaneously. It’s because people who struggle with depression, and their children, can engage in self-examination in ways that are the opposite of what the church intends. Instead of looking honestly at ourselves and asking God to forgive and heal us, we may become trapped in self-loathing, unable to imagine a path toward holy growth. For too many, like my mother, depression is a fatal disease. The warped self-denial it engenders leads them, not to seek richer relationships with God and neighbors, but to reject life itself as they find its daily pain too much to bear.
Read the rest HERE.