Yet, it has been useful to step out of our customary ways of praying and theologizing to confront the reality of human brokenness and sin. In a sense, we have been fasting from the normal language that nourishes our prayer and worship, and we miss it. It is a deprivation we feel in our very bones. If the function of fasting is to purify ourselves by dismantling the idols that keep us from a healthy relationship with God, then relinquishing our dependence on our linguistic comfort zone is a step in the right direction. If our customary language obscures the truth about human sin, which we'd rather not face, then it is meet, right, and our bounden duty to take a break from it and use language that forces us to see a different side of ourselves, even if it is our underbelly.
In the midst of all of the harsh "I am a worm and no man" language, however, there is a gentleness that can easily be obscured if one is not attuned to the Lenten theme of God's mercy. The Exhortation, for instance, emphasizes that humanity is not beyond help or hope. God loves us extravagantly, and for this we are thankful:
Having in mind, therefore, his great love for us, and in obedience to his command, his Church renders to Almighty God our heavenly Father never-ending thanks for the creation of the world, for his continual providence over us, for his love for all mankind, and for the redemption of the world by our Savior Christ, who took upon himself our flesh, and humbled himself even to death on the cross, that he might make us the children of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, and exalt us to everlasting life.