07 April 2020, The Tablet

Lent reflection

Lent reflection

The celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus is a moment of release from confinement – this year more than ever, writes Laurentia Johns, a nun of Stanbrook Abbey

“WHAT IS LIFE?” asked the Welsh-language poet, Waldo Williams, and the poem continues with the reply, “Finding a broad hall between narrow walls.”

The sense of having escaped after a confining ordeal strikes me every Easter – and perhaps the feeling of release will be even greater this year, when we will celebrate Christ’s victory over death in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, even though we are not yet out of the woods.

During Lent I had an experience of confinement which, while disconcerting at the time – though not without humour – I have come to see as a sort of parable. One morning I found myself, just before Mass, accidentally locked into the unoccupied shell of our still unfinished monastic guest house. While quite spacious, the area has neither heat nor light nor water, and is dusty and generally not a place to linger.

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