Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lent


"Endless Your grace, O endless Your grace, beyond all mortal dream." --Michael Dennis Brown

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, began one of my favorite seasons of the year: Lent.

I have always celebrated it through attending a service in which we are reminded of our sin through the drawing of an Ash cross on our forehead. There is something so personal and intimate to me about these services. They speak deeply to my heart and often draw me to tears. Our church in Atlanta doesn't have an Ash Wednesday service, so we found a random church online to visit. The focus of the service was to emphasize how we are incapable of helping or saving ourselves, but by the wounds of Jesus, we are healed.

Something else I've done is give something up for Lent. This is a sort of fast that reminds me of what is Easter means. And honestly, I've found that I rejoice much more fully in Easter when I surrender something. In the past, I've given up shopping or eating out. But I've also devoted prayers for certain countries, or taken communion every morning.

As I was praying about what to do for this season of Lent, I was reminded of a passage from my favorite book, The Autobiography of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux.

"One Sunday when I was looking at a picture of Our Lord on the Cross, I saw the Blood coming from one of His hands, and I felt terribly sad to think that It was falling to the earth and that no one was rushing forward to catch It. I determined to stay continually at the foot of the Cross and receive It. I knew that I should then have to spread It among other souls. The cry of Jesus on the Cross--'I am thirsty'--rang continually in my heart and set me burning with a new, intense longing. I wanted to quench the thirst of my Well-Beloved and I myself was consumed with a thirst for souls. I was concerned not with the souls of priests but with those of great sinners which I wanted to snatch from the flames of hell."

So this will be my Lenten journey: sitting at the Cross to receive His flowing Blood, and spreading it among other souls. I'm not exactly sure what this will look like, but I am eager to faithfully position myself beneath the Cross for the next 40 days. May God be exalted. Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

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