February 12, 2013

Lenten Journey: Time to Prepare

Lent begins tomorrow with the solemn celebration of Ash Wednesday.  In this space, with God's help, I will offer a daily meditation and some questions for us to reflect on.

In order to feel prepared, you might want to consider these suggestions:

  • Give yourself the gift of a scheduled 10-20 minutes a day.  Even if you don't choose to read these reflections or work with the questions, plan for the next 40 days to take this small window of time daily to reconnect with your soul.
  • If you don't already journal, have a notebook ready.  You can choose only to think about the questions, but many people, including me, find that writing can be a way of clarifying our thoughts and hearing God speak.
  • You might want to have a Bible handy, or check out an on-line Bible resource (like this, if you would like the Catholic New American Version, or Bible Gateway for many, many other translations).
  • Don't expect perfection.  For me, beginning something new is the easy part; sustaining my commitment over time can be difficult.  Forty days is long enough for me to get distracted, to forget, to miss a day or more.  Jump in where you are, and God will always be there to meet you.
  • Be willing to be challenged, even a little.  Transformation can be hard work, but the fruit is new life being born in us.
  • If you feel like nothing is happening, persevere anyway, if not with this study, than with something else.  There's no right or wrong way to live the spiritual life.  The only way to fail is to fail to show up.  A daily ten minutes of silence is enough to say yes to presence and Spirit.
  • Connect with someone else.  My spiritual journey began to take off only when I was willing to reach out to someone else in my own frailty and need.  Find a friend with whom you can share accountability and who will hold you up when the going gets tough.

Finally, set aside your expectations.  Neither I nor anyone else can say how God might show up for you during the coming weeks.  Be aware.  Listen.  Notice.  Trust your gut.  When it seems like it might be a whisper from God, it probably is.

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