Today is the Eve of Lent 2022, the day before the 40-day period (excluding Sundays) leading up to Resurrection Sunday. It is celebrated differently depending on prevailing tradition. This year we are getting together to ‘mark’ the day by enjoying an indulgent evening meal of pancakes (plus, plus) at a local restaurant (that’s tonight, by the way). Many churches observe this season of Lent as a time that includes some type of fasting. My suggestion is that our ‘fast’ be approximately 30 minutes a day (carving out a space of time when we would be otherwise occupied with sleeping in or reading up on the latest news or doing crossword puzzles, or watching a favorite sitcom or, for the fitness-minded, going for a run/walk) to engage in the ‘Journey of Prayer to the Love of the Father’ (please see document attached). This is a precious gift we get to give ourselves. Each day the reading is provided, along with a proposed step-by-step sequence designed to help us sit still and ponder the passage more fully than we would if we were simply scanning the verses to get moving to the next thing on the agenda. And it’s all focused on receiving God’s love for us! How sweet is that? In our day of speed reading and speed dating and speed networking, concentrating for upwards of 30 minutes a day on God’s love is a luxurious break from all things hectic, the rat race, the typical plague of hurry, hurry, hurry & worry, worry, worry. Consider it a free, 6-week long, spiritual spa treatment.
NOTE: For this, the idea is to do what we can, not what we can’t. If your mornings are dodgy, maybe lunchtime or before bed would work better. If some days you don’t get to it, skip that day’s reading and keep moving through. This is all about Jesus and you. Journal if that’s helpful (I usually just doodle in the margins as I’m processing. It’s how I concentrate – really!). I did a similar 6-week exercise in my training for Spiritual Direction a few years ago and found it to be way better, way richer, than I had anticipated. Let’s choose to start our journeys next Sunday, March 6. That will take us through to our celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection, Sunday, April 17. I’m praying that this will bring you great delight! PD
ps Please respond to this email, letting me know if you plan to give this a go. It will be great to know who’s on this journey with us. That way we can be praying for one another along the way. Thanks!