Cleaning Closets

The weather last week was absolutely remarkable. I bragged about it to my sister. She lives in Belgium where March is usually warmer than here. I could just feel the weight of winter slide off my shoulders as the sun of spring touched my face. A deep sigh of relief accompanied by the somewhat vein hope for it to last relaxed my built-up winter tension.

Not surprisingly most Minnesotans spent as much time as possible outdoors. By contrast, I stayed indoors, though admittedly gazing longingly at the sun streaming through the windows of my home. I blame my ancestors for this odd behavior.

My grandmother and my mother instilled an irresistible desire in me to start cleaning at the first sight of spring. It is as if the first rays of warm sun cause the cleaning genie to come out of the bottle. So, I cannot but empty closets and drawers in preparation for an in-depth spring cleaning. The sweater that has not fit for years is finally gone. Dust bunnies that have evaded the vacuum cleaner for weeks have been collected. The comfortable chaos that reigned in certain drawers has been turned into perfect order. The house is clean, everything is in order and I feel great about it. Cosmos, once again triumphs over chaos.

While cleaning and organizing I feel very close to my family. They did this religiously, and so do I. And like my ancestors I do not refer to it as my spring cleaning, but rather, I call it my Easter cleaning.

From a very young ago I was taught that there is an interior as well as an exterior preparation for Easter. The exterior preparation includes fasting and other forms of penance as well as the cleaning of our home. And all of this is intended to assist us with our interior preparation which is no less satisfying than the exterior.

So during this season of Lent as we clean our homes in anticipation of Easter, let’s also open the doors and drawers of our spiritual lives so we may take an inventory of our spiritual lives and throw out, clean up or re-organize that which is not befitting of a Christian. Thus we will be ready both exteriorly and interiorly for the celebration of Easter when spiritual cosmos again triumphs over spiritual chaos.

So get out those brooms and mops and lets start cleaning.

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