Fifty Days of Joy
I thought not. It is much easier to design a plan of sacrifice and solemnity (even if we don't keep it that well) than to plan out fifty days of joy. I'm talking planning and discipline here.... of course it's not too hard to be happy, to enjoy life, and most of us when we fudged on our Lenten disciplines were doing so to sneak in a levity, a little fun. But trying to make a discipline of joy and peace is pretty hard. It seems, even, to go against the grain. Shouldn't joy be spontaneous?
It's worth a try, though. As Christians, we are called to be the reflection of God's glory, to be joyful in the Lord. This doesn't mean we abandon our seriousness about being the hands and feet of Christ in the world and turning our backs on suffering and injustice. But we are to be Christ's hands and feet with joy, with a heart that both breaks for the pain of others and heals others through love that is based on the sure knowledge that we are loved and valued and made worthy by God.
Still, how does one do that as a discipline?
Practice building up the muscles, I think. Which is what our Lenten disciplines are supposed to do as well. Instead of giving up chocolate, taken on feeding others. Write every day about something beautiful. Plan once a week to visit a museum or botanical garden or see a play or movie - find things that feed you so that you will have something with which to feed others. Play - play with your animals, your kids, your partner, your friends (real and virtual).
And then let the Holy Spirit work.
What will be your discipline?