If someone were to ask me what the over-arching goal of Lent should be, my one-word answer would be: Mindfulness.
Of course Lent is about confession, repentance, prayer, fasting, and contemplation but those are really just tools that are offered to cultivate Mindfulness. Or, if you prefer, Attentiveness.
It is all about being mindful of the divinity that surrounds you and your response to it. It is all about attentiveness to God in your daily life. Lent offers the chance to remember that you come from God and you go to God and, while you are in this life, that God accompanies you through Jesus Christ.
In the coming weeks of Lent, I will be sharing a devotional practice here in the Messengerto help with your mindfulness this Lenten season. I will be offering a step by step practice of Lectio Divina each week. Some of you have probably heard of this ancient spiritual practice of encountering scripture. As much as we need to re-evaluate and re-invent Lent to make it relevant for our lives today, Lectio Divina is one of those spiritual practices from antiquity that can still add value to our faith formation today.
To set the stage for this kind of mindful contemplation that can enrich our Lenten journey, I invite you to try this simple act of prayIf soer this week:
Look at an everyday, unremarkable thing – anything at all – for several minutes. It is best if the thing you choose is mundane like a piece of furniture or a cooking utensil rather than something that is obviously remarkable like a flower or a painting. Continue to simply look at the thing you have chosen until you notice something beautiful about it that you never saw before. Once this happens, acknowledge that this is a moment of wonder. This is an experience of God and it is around you each and every day. Conclude with a whispered “amen” to remember that what just occurred was, in fact, an act of prayer.
There are many aspects to Lent, but central to this holy season is the opportunity to find the holy in the ordinary—in the things around you, the people around you, the situations around you, and, most importantly, in you yourself.
See you in church