Learn to do good. LEARN to do good. Learn to DO good. Learn to do GOOD.
Divine Office Morning Prayer for Lent. Repeated. Simple words, dramatic demands. Each worth thinking about, and the whole worth living. The phrase itself worthy of consideration, food for reflection.
The impetus lies not with other, but with self. Words that neither blame not excuse: these are profoundly words of invitation to individuals. Lent is the chance to acknowledge that uniqueness of self, to seize the moment and to become better than who and how we are. Those words dare difference every day.
Lent, too, demands a relentless review of self, an acknowledgment of weakness and of the need to improve. It means entertaining a humility that enables individuals to see self as others do, to differentiate between veneers and motivations, intentions and behaviors, purpose and meaning. Humility is the acknowledgment that there is always more; it is the openness to discover, and it is the empowerment of choice. Learning in its most meaningful sense is opening the door to change.
Change is more than a disposition, more than an attitude. Change is about movement, about actually doing something. It is about behavior, choices, actions. It is about time, how it is used and shared. It is about difference, about movement from one place to another, remooring and adapting. Change is visible, experiential and risky. It means investing in life itself.
Determining the good requires discernment, having the ability to choose wisely. “Good” after all is not always what is preferred, or what is comfortable. “Good” sometimes requires sacrifice, challenging norms, defying convention, putting other in front of self. “Good” is about far more than self-gratification or self-aggrandizement; “good” is about the individual and the collective. It is the last word in the phrase, and it might be the most important one to remember.
Learn to do good: it is what Lent is all about.