This week marks my one year anniversary as a practicing Anglican.
I remember nervously walking into the small chapel early Sunday morning in 2016, not entirely sure what on earth I was doing there.
All I can say is that I followed my curiosity.
And what I have found is a truly beautiful, life giving, healing community and a spiritual practice that nourishes me.
Not to mention it’s a mere three minute drive from my house!
But enough of that.
We’re here to talk about…
Lent (Latin: Quadragesima: Fortieth)
Being in the charismatic stream of christianity for so long, the liturgical calendar was foreign to me and seemed a bit unnecessary.
These days I find deep, spiritual food in a traditional practice. It’s funny how things change. It’s funny how I have changed.
Lent is a 40 day observation in preparation for Easter beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Palm Sunday. People can give up rich foods, luxuries, television, alcohol and whatever distracts from seeking God’s face. Its a time to become quiet and to seek a deeper connection with the divine.
Pope Francis aptly articulates the heart of Lent when he says:
“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.”
This past year for me has been a year of loss, of starting again, of letting go of dreams, of grieving what was and things I am waiting for.
It’s been really hard. And I have found myself staring at a screen a lot medicate my own pain and to feel as if I’m connected in some way.
Praying, meditating or any serious spiritual practice has fallen by the wayside. I’ve had a deconstruction experience with faith so I’ve deliberately kept myself from being zealous in any spiritual discipline.
Come to think of it I’ve actually stopped being zealous about most things.
My bible has been sitting on the shelf in true “backslider” fashion for six months *shock horror gasp
In saying that, I now have a deeper faith than ever before.
But my heart longs to become quiet again. To learn how to sit with myself without constant options to distract, to numb myself from my own reality. Maybe I could try to trust God to hold me again.
This year I’m giving up social media and television. This is going to be an exercise in being brave.
I feel scared to just sit with God and myself again, I’m scared I might come away empty handed. I don’t want to force things anymore.
I don’t want to twist God’s arm into giving me my wildest dreams. I’d like to learn how to humbly accept and be thankful for the blessings in everyday.
This morning at 7am, arriving bleary eyed with my husband, we received ashes upon our forehead with the priests refrain over us “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
We then sung these words
“We offer you our failures, we offer you attempts, the gift not fully given, the dreams not fully dreamt. Give our stumblings direction, give our visions wider view. An offering of ashes, an offering to you.” -Tom Conry
Are you doing Lent this year? I’d love to hear what your intentions are for this very special season.
Be free my friend
x Gem x