The Season of Lent begins

The Season of Lent begins

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day when many in the Christian tradition remember that you are dust and from dust you will return.  I love the season of Lent...of waiting, fasting, prayer, almsgiving - dying to some of my desires and waiting for God to be with me in the wilderness.  

My desk is covered with a number of books related to Lent:  "Biblical Meditations for Lent" by Carroll Stuhlmueller, "Woman, Why are you Weeping? Daily Meditations for Lent" by John Timmerman, "Life Conquers Death: Meditations of the Garden, the Cross and the Tree of Life" by John Arnold, "Lent and Easter with Mary" by Thomas J. Craughwell, "Days of Deepening Friendship for the Woman Who Wants Authentic Life with God" by Vinita Hampton Wright, and "Lent and Holy Week - Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton" edited by Montaldo and Toth.  I am a book junkie and LOVE reading about how other people walk their spiritual path.  These are just the books sitting on my desk!  I have often joked that I would spend every hour reading and studying if I could but alas, this is not the life I have chosen--or have been given--so I will do what I do, see where the Spirit moves me and walk daily with what seems to draw me.

As much as I love to read and study, I also know that listening is where I yearn to rest as well.  For my Lenten practice, I will try to spend a half an hour in silence every day, listening and seeing where God is calling me --or as the Benedictines say, Listening with the ear of my heart.  

Richard Rohr has a book called, "Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent" which has not yet come out in hard copy but I have uploaded it to my ipad.  I receive a daily email from the Center for Action and Contemplation that contains daily meditations from Richard Rohr.  Rohr is a Franciscan with the New Mexico Province, a retreat master, speaker and writer.  He has written a number of books and I find that his writings inspire me to think outside of the box.  

Today, in the readings for Ash Wednesday in "Wondrous Encounters" he reflects about desire, suggesting that "Today, you must pray for the desire to desire! Even if you do not feel it yet, ask for new and even unknown desires.  For you will eventually get what you really desire!  I promise you.  It is the Holy Spirit doing the desiring at your deepest level.  Therefore, you will get nothing less than what you really desire, and almost surely much more."

I believe this - Ignatius of Loyola tells us to seek our hearts desire but I often have trouble knowing what I desire.  I can think of the cosmic desires for world peace, ending world hunger, etc., but on a personal level, I am not always sure.  I am like a hummingbird zooming from thing to thing, resting a bit here and there!  But to really stop and listen, listen with the ear of my heart to what I desire--this is tough.

So, for this Lenten season, I will sit and listen.  Richard Rohr has a starter prayer which I think is perfect for me today:  "God, give me the desire to desire what you want me to desire."

The journey begins...or continues...

Blissfully, Susan

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Hilda wrote:
Dear Susan,

Here is my Spanish version of Rohr´s quote.

Señor, concédeme el deseo de desear lo que quieras que desee.



Thu, March 10, 2011 @ 11:45

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