Friday after Ash Wednesday

Friday after Ash Wednesday

Today I had the opportunity to spend time with a dear friend who is a fellow lover of the Lenten season. We committed to companion one another through this season, to share our insights and reflections, our commitment to prayer and to seek to listen to where and how God is calling each of us at this time in our lives.

After our time together, I reflected on the gift of friendship. I have often felt lonely on my faith journey. I find it challenging to risk being vulnerable and often am unclear how to connect with others and share my daily wonderings. There are those who may wonder why I need to share this journey—but as an extravert and one who loves to process verbally, deep spiritual conversations give me great satisfaction! Thus, I feel especially blessed to have a friend who shares with me in this same desire to share our journeys. I also feel grateful to have this website and blog and pray that people will be inspired to share the journey as well.

The prayer suggestion today from Richard Rohr is what I took to my time of silence: “God, what is it that you want me to let go of this Lent? Is it other than what I think?” What came up for me was Psalm 101, Luke 4, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Thessalonians 4 and Philippians 2.

Here is what spoke to me from these references.

  • Psalm 101: I sing of love and justice to you Lord, I sing praise. I follow the way of integrity, when will you come to me? I act with integrity of heart.
  • Luke 4: You shall worship the Lord your God and him alone shall you serve. You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. After being tempted for 40 days, Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit. He left and went to a deserted place.
  • 1 Corinthians 6: God has called you to peace. Everyone should live as the Lord has assigned, just as God has called each one. Everyone should remain in the state to which he was called.
  • 1 Thesalonians 4: We are called to holiness. Aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your affairs and to work with your hands.
  • Philippians 2: Plea for unity and humility. Christ emptied himself. Christ humbled himself and became obedient to death. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit but in humility count others better than yourselves. Take the form of a servant…shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.

I told my friend today that I feel I am being called (challenged) to share my faith and be more transparent and mentioned the verse where we are told to let our lights shine for all to see. Thus I was not surprised to read Philippians 2!

Reflecting on these verses, I wonder…

Am I being asked to let go of my need to control life, my ego and busy-ness? If these verses are in response to my prayer, “God, what is it that you want me to let go of this Lent?” perhaps I am asked to fully embrace the life I am called to live; as a married woman, to try to be humble and aspire to peacefulness; to empty myself and have the courage to shine as a light in the world.

I am continually humbled by the ability of the Spirit to lead me and provide guidance. May I have the courage to go where I am asked and to seek the peacefulness offered.

Blissfully, Susan

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def. Bliss: -noun Supreme Happiness, Utter Joy/Contentment; the Joy of Paradise!