Did You Know?
During the season of Lent, flowers are not used to adorn the altar. Rather, it is church tradition to use some type of greenery to decorate the sanctuary, as a sign of simplicity and solemnity during this penitential season. This is why cacti now grace the steps to the altar.
Anything that lives in the desert must be hardy and able to go without water for long periods of time, or else die. Cacti are able to handle desert life well by conserving water and withstanding high temperatures and other environmental conditions that most other plants could not endure.
As we remember Jesus wandering in the desert for forty days, we must challenge ourselves to be like the cactus. Lent is a time for us to focus on the things that truly matter to us, whether they are physical, emotional or spiritual in nature. We all come to a point in our journeys where we realize that it is time to do away with the things that are weighing us down. If you are to survive the desert, you must get by on the bare essentials and do away with any excesses.
However, Lent is not just a lesson in discipline, but also an invitation to know a deeper understanding of beauty and living simply. There is a beauty to be seen in the desert if we are only willing to look closely enough to see that there actually is life in the desert. Although unconventional in its appearance, the cactus is a plant that is striking because of its uniqueness and capability of not just surviving, but thriving in adversity.
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