Thursday, January 31, 2008

Observing Lent

I've started thinking about Lent. Well no duh, Kate! Of course I have, like sometime back in Advent! No NOT that way, not liturgically, corporately, programmatically. Personally. My Lent. My own private little Lent. As in how will I be "observing" this time. Lent and Advent really vie for favorite times in my life. Sometimes Lent wins. Lent is full of anniversaries for me. Lent was the time when I was fifteen or so that I can remember that I really sensed God's presence and I can say "heard" God speaking to me personally for the first time. It was a very powerful experience of the Holy for me. Lent was the first time, during a Holy Week retreat in high school, that I was able to truly imagine, and enter into the suffering of Jesus on the cross and experience at a profound level the love that went into my personal redemption. One Holy Saturday, during an Easter Vigil renewal of baptismal vows, I felt myself most powerfully called back into a loving personal relationship with Jesus after a lost and lonely time of wandering. Last year, my Lenten disciplines turned out to be signifcant in impacting life changes in ways I never would have imagined going in. I preached my first sermon to this congregation on Ash Wednesday. I baptized my first baby on Easter. Lent is a Big Deal. I like to do Lent well. So I've been thinking about Lent and what to do this year. Richard Foster's book is calling me. First I thought it would be Prayer, but, I kept just "randomly" running across references to the Celebration of Discipline kind of everywhere I went. Bloggers mentioned it, it came up in someone else's conversation really out of left field, C's church is having a book group on it....so I ordered it of course. I read the first chapter last night....I'm hooked. Spiritual disciplines. The things that in my convent life I railed against simply because, I think, no one took the time to explain the "why" of them to us. It was simply a "do this, it's good for you." Well tell that to a nineteen year old! Even a fairly compliant one in the 1970s. I have come to love my own little set of them. Have my own comfort with my kind of prayer life and my kind of meditation practice. I see from what I've read that Mr. Foster and I don't see quite eye to eye on all things. I feel a little push back in myself. I need to settle down and get teachable again. That in itself would be Lenten now wouldn't it?

I do plan to post daily. It worked for gratitude, it worked for Adventing. So I think I'll be Lenting as well. Trying to be conscious about "observing" Lent. "Observing." Watching for the signs of God. And perhaps trying to have some discipline in that effort.

3 comments:

Jan said...

I love "Celebration of Discipline" but loaned my copy away. It's a good Lenten discipline. I like your reflections about Lent. I don't think I was intentional enough during Advent, but I'd like to be during Lent. I keep thinking of Simone Weil's comment that the "separation is the link." I want to stay focused on that, instead of blocked by anything. That goes along with your comment about "trying to be conscious about 'observing' Lent." Good thoughts.

mompriest said...

Lent is my "favorite" season...if one can say that about Lent...

This year Lent for me will really be about the journey - packing, moving, starting new...wow...

I hope for you it is a rich spiritual time, a holy Lent.

RevDrKate said...

MP, yes good company for Lent as favorite. Lent as journey will be rich metaphor for you...ending old life and ministry, beginning a new one....wow, indeed. I just realized tonight that I have the "bookends" on the femblog, Lent one and Easter....cool!