And so it begins yet again. Ash Wednesday. Lent.
Our theme at St. Mary’s this year is Love All, and we have a variety of resources from which people can pick and choose to enrich the forty days of Lent.
The parish has been invited to be watch a video each day from the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, and we’ve printed a workbook for folks to write their daily reflections on the video. On Wednesday evenings we’ll have some small groups and watch a video or two and talk about our reflections.
We’re also encouraging folks to take time during Lent to prepare for the sacrament of Reconciliation of a Penitent. SSJE has provided a wonderful booklet that our adults are using for their time of reflection, and our Children Formation Minister, Cindy, has prepared a small refection based on the Lord’s Prayer that our younger Christians can use in preparations.
Many of our Daughters of the King have subscribed to a daily email series created by Jan Richardson called “Beloved: An online journey into Lent an Easter.” The Daughters are sponsoring a Quiet Day for men and women this Saturday at St. Mary’s.
The monastery of which I’m an Oblate has a practice of Bona Opera (“good work”): submitting your spiritual practice in writing to be placed on the altar of the monastery and blessed on Ash Wednesday. I have made a daily commitment of lectio divina, almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.
Having disciplines, spiritual practices for Lent, are an important way of reshaping our lives so that our hearts become more transformed into the place where God alone dwells. It’s doing what Jesus says each year in our Gospel for Ash Wednesday; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6.21).
I have my daily Lenten disciplines which I submitted to Sister Antoinette that sit on the altar of Our Lady of Grace. But at our Vestry/Ministry Council retreat on Saturday, one of our lay folk mentioned that her spiritual director years ago had encouraged her to have a spiritual rhythm. That resonates with me.