Life is changed, not ended.
There is bound to be a word that describes this concept better than “paradox,” but so much about faith is paradoxical it’s the best I can do. (perhaps, a reader will have the right word and pass it on.)
In our spiritual life, it is suggested that we can be dragged down by attributes identified with self. It’s important to be “centered,” but being “self-centered ” is a no-no. We pray for “righteousness,” but woe to one who is “self-righteous.” During Lent we are called to “serve,” but to be “self-serving” will lead you straight to the devil.
You might get the impression that to become disciples we must lose all individuality, acting like calves following the herd. Nothing could be further than the truth. The negative aspects of self – self-centeredness, self-righteousness, i.e., — are developed to please the world. When we toss off those negative layers, we find our true self, buried for years by our need for other’s approval. We can only find our self by first shedding the baggage we carry around to meet other’s expectations.
We think of Lent as a baptism, and during Lent we have been washing away the dead skin of the negative aspects of self. We will soon emerge from those cleansing waters of Lent to a self that is changed, not ended.
God, bring the true self to light in each of us.