Friday, March 3, 2017

Entering into Lent: Life Awaits

This past week, I was part of three different meetings.  Each was unique in that the conversations were specific to a set of questions and quandaries.  Each was quite similar in that the groups gathered around each table earnestly wanted to seek God's will in the midst of a time of challenge.

Sometimes my work is to bring resources.  I shy away from suggesting that I, or anyone else around the table, will have "the" answer or worse, a "quick fix".  Instead, I advise the slower, the patient, the less anxious, the less immediately understood way forward.  (Admittedly, such work is a tough sell, especially when I'm feeling the need for expedience or anxiety drives more than I care to admit.)

As we begin Lent, Christians have the opportunity to examine the spiritual life and decide what priorities have to be claimed or reclaimed, what practices and habits should be given up, and how to learn these things with a spirit of humility and provisional grace (for others as well as ourselves!).

Thomas Merton offers a prayer that I often share with groups when conversations come to an end.  I share it with you:
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this one. Your friends in Cuba benefit from these words.