quarta-feira, 5 de março de 2014

Lent 2014

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I've been trying to observe this season more intentionally since last couple of years, with quite a few stumbles along the way.

In spite of the previous failures, I want to try again. I've been learning a lot about this through my catholic brothers and sisters; here are a few texts that helped me reflect on this matter:

"As adults, we might want to consider looking at Lent in a deeper way.  We are probably much more settled into our behaviors and patterns of life and sometimes giving up something is where we begin -- and end -- our reflections on Lent.  It can be tempting to say “I am giving up chocolate” or beer or even all sweets and all alcohol. But without more reflection, it can become simply a way I show God how how strong I am.  It is more about me than any conversation with God."

"So, what needs changing?
We start to come to know that by asking for help.  "Lord, help me to know what needs changing."  It is often said, "Be careful about what you ask for."  This is one of those requests that God must surely want to answer."

So... chocolate and Facebook are definitely off for the next 40 days. And I'm asking for God's help to figure out the rest of it. 

"In the end, the prayer of St. Augustine places us in the right spirit for Lent:

    O Lord, our Lord, you have created us for yourself 
    and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

Lent is indeed how God draws us home, as individuals.  But, it is also a very communal journey.  We never journey alone, no matter how "lonely" we may feel.  We are always journeying together.  If we can experience our journey in communion with others, it makes it so much clearer that we are on a journey together.  When I can share my experience with even one other close friend, or with my regular worshiping community, I can enjoy and share the support and environment that allows grace to flourish.

Let us pray for each other on this journey, especially those who need and desire a change of heart on this pilgrimage to Easter joy."