The church of my childhood paid no attention to Lent. The season's words sounded too mystical to us, too strange and too Catholic.
Sustainable Lenten disciplines anticipate an Easter in which they will continue. But surely Easter hope is for something more.
Chronic illness is like Walden: life is pared down to essentials. But unlike Thoreau, I can’t walk away.
I’m taking a class on the Gospel of Luke this semester, and one of my assignments is to engage in an ongoing spiritual practice related to that particular Gospel. So for the entire semester I am reading the Magnificat daily. It’s a passage that I’ve been drawn to in recent years, but it has been particularly illuminating to be dwelling on it during Lent this year, since it is typically confined to the Advent season. Somehow the triumphal language of the justice that God has already accomplished fits with the modern treatment of Advent as a celebratory season. But Lent is a season of penance, which puts an entirely different spin on the text.
I worry about avian flu. I worry that my identity is being stolen right this second. I check four times to make sure I turned the stove off. It's breathless, compulsive behavior.
When Ash Wednesday arrived in 2009, my recently diagnosed stage IV cancer had already reduced two of my vertebrae to dust. I feared that the rest of me wasn't far behind.
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Luke 19:28-40
Joshua 5:9-12 (Psalm 32); 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32