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Meditations for Lent, offered by our Spiritual Life Committee

A Lenten Prayer

Fast from judging others,
Feast on Christ dwelling in them. 
Fast from discontent, feast on gratitude. 
Fast from hunger, feast on patience. 
Fast from bitterness, feast on forgiveness. 
Fast from self-concern, feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion, feast on truth.
Fast from gossip, feast on silence.
Fast from sorrow, feast on joy.
Fast from worry, feast on faith.

 William Arthur Ward

A Lenten Prayer

Breathe in love, life, mercy
Breathe out worry, fear, anxiety
Breathe in peace, joy, hope
Breathe out busyness, selfishness, greed
Breathe in light, Breathe out darkness
Breathe in joy, Breathe out sadness
Breathe in hope, Breathe out despair
Breathe in God's Light
Breathe in God's Love
Breathe in God's Spirit

Ash Wednesday

God chose to be our mother in all things

and so made the foundation of his work,
most humble and pure,
in the Virgin's womb.

God, the perfect wisdom of all,
arrayed himself in this humble place.

Christ came in our poor flesh
To share a mother's care.

Our mothers bear us for pain and for death;
our true mother, Jesus,
bears us for joy and endless life.

Christ carries us within him in love and travail,
until the full time of his passion.

And when all was completed
and he had carried us so for joy,
still all this could not satisfy
the power of his wonderful love.

All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God,
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.

A song of Julian of Norwich

Holy Saturday

Always remember to retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others. This mental solitude cannot be violated by the many people who surround you, since they are not standing around your heart but only around your body. Your heart remains alone in the presence of God.

Saint Francis de Sales: Divine Solitude

Good Friday

Listen, stand up in prayer
during the night,
for you are a candle,
and a candle stands and burns.

Rumi

Maundy Thursday

Spirit of Yielding, Spirt of consent, Spirit of Yes, Spirit of letting-go, Spirit of acceptance, Spirit of humility and openness, Spirit who trains my eyes to look down at Jesus looking up to me, ever ready to wash and serve me-I need you. I need you to give me a fresh receptivity to the unconditional love of God, to make my embrace of the cross real and not just a matter of words.
Martin L. Smith

A Lenten Prayer

Fast from judging others,
Feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from discontent, feast on gratitude.
Fast from hunger, feast on patience.
Fast from bitterness, feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern, feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion, feast on truth.
Fast from gossip, feast on silence.
Fast from sorrow, feast on joy.
Fast from worry, feast on faith.

William Arthur Ward

Holy Week Meditations

Good Friday is a wake-up call, forcefully reminding us that suffering and death are real, and that even the son of God had to endure them.... To us, death seems like an end, but for God it is the beginning our return to the great love from which we came.

Kathleen Norris

God of all grace, let the Eucharist, the Bread of Life, always remind me of the breaking of Christ's body and the pouring out of his blood for me and the forgiveness of my sins. Let me shed the false demeanor of Judas, let me always remember his kiss of evil, and never fail to acknowledge my part in this betrayal. Amen.

Henri Nouwen

God of glory, I pray that you will help me build that inner solitude, that secret place of peace, apart from the world, apart from life's pain and struggles. Grant me the spiritual strength to wear the outer world as a loose garment, one that can be quickly shed. If my inner life is strong, if it is lived with you, nothing in the world will seriously upset me. As I practice finding this place of silence, let me cherish it as a place to hear your Word and from which to face the world. Amen.

Henri Nouwen

Some Christians prefer to take a short cut and go directly from the victory parade of palms to the alleluia victory of Easter. If you desire to taste the rare vintage of Easter joy, however, do not take the short cut! Walk faithfully with Christ in the mysteries of this week, for they are a mirror of the maze of life itself. In such a journey of pain, suffering and ultimate victory there are no short cuts.

Lenten Labyrinth, Edward Hays

Reflection by Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration

2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2,

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself...So we are ambassadors for Christ...we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who know no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says

“At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”

See now is the acceptable time; see now is the day of salvation!

Seasons of Celebration, Thomas Merton

Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy, and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast. It cannot be otherwise, as it forms part of the great Easter cycle.

The Pascal Mystery is above all the mystery of life which the church, by celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ, enters into the Kingdom of Life which He established once for all by His definitive victory over sin and death...Lent is then not a season of punishment so much as one of healing.

The Prayer Before the Crucifix, St Francis Of Assisi,

Most High,
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me
true faith,
certain hope,
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
Lord,
that I may carry out
Your holy and true command.

A Prayer by Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault (taken from Ephesians)

We pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen us with power through his Spirit in our inner being so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And we pray that we, being rooted and grounded in Love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the Love of Christ, and to know this Love that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled with the very nature of God.