There's a bit of a running joke in our community about Lent. Some sisters love everything about it. And then there's Sister Helena. For her, Lent itself is a penance. And it is particularly galling that one of the Lenten Prefaces (that long prayer the priest says leading up to the "Holy, Holy, Holy") has us pray, "Each year you give us this joyful season..."
You know, that didn't sound quite right to me, either. Happily (!), this will be the last year we call Lent a "joyful season." In the new Roman Missal, the (more literal) translation of that same Preface, we thank God "for by your gracious gift each year your faithful await the sacred paschal feasts with the joy of minds made pure, so that, more eagerly intent on prayer and on the works of charity, and participating in the mysteries by which they have been reborn, they may be led to the fulness of grace that you bestow on your sons and daughters. And so, with all the angels..."
That's not to say that there isn't a "sober joy" to the season, but it's in its effects, not in the season itself!
Sr. Helena stands vindicated.