Thursday, March 6, 2014

LENT descends

Lead, kindly light amid the encircling gloom
The night is dark and I am far from home
Cardinal John Henry Newman

Lent has come upon us.  I always approach the beginning of Lent with a bit of agitation.  What will I pray, read, do?  How will I fit it all in?  It has just made me nervous.  This year, I am going to calm down and try to be peaceful inside and really listen to God. I race from one thing to the next and find that I haven't really sat quietly with Him in a long time.  And without quiet and prayer, our hearts are like ice:  stiff, brittle, cold.  We don't come to the fire and the world gets colder and colder and we may not notice it.  Our faults get hard, we begin to accept them like one who has been lost in the snow....we just fall asleep and die inside. I need to come to the fire this Lent.

There is a great prayer by Mary Stuart that I always like to look at.  She is very straightforward and speaks as one who has warmed herself well at the fire, as she suffered greatly in her life.  I share it with all of you and wish you a very peaceful, profitable Lent near the fire that is Jesus.

Keep us, O God, from all pettiness.
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault finding and leave off all self-seeking.
May we put away pretense and meet each other face to face,
without self pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgement, and always be generous.
Let us always take time for all things,
and make us calm, serene and gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, to be straightforward
and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize that it is the little things of life
that create differences; that in the big things of life,
we are one.
And, O Lord God, let us not forget
To be KIND!  Amen

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