As is often the case, my desire to blog is confronted with the reality of daily life – result, no time for blogging. Work has been busy, I have been dealing with a sick cat, and also working on some other projects. Oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
That said, I have a few minutes today and I’m wondering about how your Lent is going? What are you reading? Have you altered your prayer life? Many of us have obsessed over what to give up or take on, or both, but too much obsessing means a focus on the self and not God. Essentially giving up or taking on should be about creating more space to encounter God.
For the first time in a long time I am at peace with how that is unfolding this Lent. Various things had occurred that had my typical prayer practices disturbed, resulting in limited prayer. I was not at peace with that and have struggled for some time to find a new rhythm. Lent has provided me with a way to do that. Also, I am spending time each morning reading some wonderful texts, beginning with Give Us This Day. In full disclosure, I am a contributor but I have long loved the publication. (Please check it out, by requesting a free sample here.)
There are two other books that I highly recommend. They are, I admit, written by women who are friends. You should be aware that is mostly because I have been blessed with incredible friends and these two women are among them. The two volumes are Not By Bread Alone by Mary DeTurris Poust, and City of Prayer, Forty Days with Desert Christians by Rachel Srubas. As it happens, like Give Us This Day, both books are published by Liturgical Press. Mary’s book is specific to Lent 2019, Rachel’s is not specific to Lent or any year, but it is a wonderful Lenten addition to my prayers.
Today I read a blog post that seemed to speak to me and I’m going to save it and keep reading and praying with it. It is by my longtime online friend Henry Karlson and can be found at his blog, A Little Bit of Nothing. His words captured me immediately when he began with this:
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philip. 2:4 RSV). Christians are expected to be people who love, and in that love, look after each other.
It is a beautiful post, so I hope you read it, share it, and are enriched by it as I was.
This weekend brings us to the 4th Sunday of Lent, also known as Laetare Sunday. Laetare means rejoice, a reminder in the desert of our Lenten journey that sorrow leads to joy. Having read the non-religious blog of some acquaintances, I was reminded of the sudden appearance of joy in the desert. After a winter full of colder than usual temperatures and rain, the entire southwest desert if overflowing with life and color in the form of flowers. Check out their journey to Big Bend National Park, a place I long to go to, to see this beauty.
This Sunday most parishes will hear the Gospel that tells the story of the Prodigal Son. Every time someone whom we are challenged by is forgiven and welcomed back, we need to reread this one and pray with it. This story dogs all of us – or at least it should. What do you think?
Anyway, I hope and pray for a good Lent for you. Here is a beautiful song for you from David Haas. Thank you for reading!