Godspace Light Newsletter

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

Welcome to the season of Lent. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the day on which we traditionally paint ash crosses on our foreheads as a sign of our mortality. “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This is a wonderful practice that I hope you will embrace. If you are unable to attend a church service, consider creating your own ashes. It may make priests cringe, as they are not consecrated, but, maybe it’s the liturgical rebel in me that says, I can adapt this to be more meaningful for me and it is a very meaningful practice that I highly recommend. I like to use some of the palm Sunday crosses or palms I was given the previous year and often add post it notes on which I write what I plan to give up  during Lent.

This year (see video) I burnt my palms in the new Lenten garden I talk about in my Meditation Monday: Creating a New Lenten Garden. I created it to help me focus during Lent and keeping the burnt palms in it for the first few days enhances that focus. As I burnt the palms, I asked myself the 2 questions I suggest in my Meditation Monday “For love of God what is one thing I will give up during Lent?” and “For love of the world what is one thing I will give up for this season? These are 2 questions I will return to regularly over the next few weeks. For love of the world, God gave up so much, what am I willing to give up in return?

I am also preparing for my Lenten Quiet Day Retreat: Beauty from Ashes coming up on March 2nd. Scheduling time to pause in our busy lives to pray, to reflect and refocus is an important part of Lent and I hope you will join us for this retreat time. The purpose of Lent is to prepare us for the wonder of Easter and the resurrection of Christ. In this retreat we will share scriptures, read poems and reflect on the story of death and resurrection that is the centre for Lent and Easter celebrations. Have you signed up? Don’t forget. It is only a couple of weeks away.

A great place to begin your Lenten reflections is with Bill Borror’s post Come and See  in which he stated: “Lent invites us to deny our appetites” a little in order to expand our hearts and lives for God.  It is a temporary saying no to the good things of this life, to taste the better eternal things of Christ. It’s a rebooting if you would of our ordinary routines, in order to glimpse the extraordinary mysteries of God all around us, that we tend to miss in the course of our busy, noisy day to day existence.

In her Freerange Friday The Invitation of Lent, Lilly Lewin reminded us that this is a wilderness experience, and comments: “One thing about being in the wilderness…it invites us to pay attention. To notice. You don’t survive very long in extreme wilderness situations or even on a simple hike in the forest if you aren’t paying attention…Paying attention to the path, to the weather, to dangers that might be ahead.”

On Thursday in Big Change (Transfiguration) Sunday Rodney Marsh reminded us that the Sunday before Lent is Transfiguration Sunday, celebrating when Jesus met Elijah and Moses on the mountain. I needed this reminder. As Rodney said, Jesus’ disciples shared this experience because they were willing to follow Jesus into a lonely place, expecting to pray. It is on the mountain top, in the place of prayer, alone with Jesus that we usually receive our direction for the future.

In her post Bent on Loving Us,  Jenny Gehman  talks about the upright position we assume when we fly and compares it to how Jesus came into the world. “To prepare for his arrival, he had to assume not an upright position but a bent one. And bend he did, into the tiniest of seeds in a woman’s dark womb.” Great insights from a new and unusual way of thinking of the gospel story.

As you get ready for Lent this year consider what helps you focus and keep focused during these weeks of preparation for Easter. This prayer “Fall In Love” by Father Pedro Arrupe is a great one to use at the beginning of Lent and also for Valentine’s Day.

Here is another prayer I wrote a couple of years ago you might like to use.

Jesus you came to save us.
We are marked with ashes,
We are but dust,
Only you can change our unclean souls.
Bring us to repentance,
Wash away the scars,
Plant seeds in the desert,
Bring life where death once reigned.
Cleanse us with the water of life.
Transform us God of all.
Restore our sight,
Renew our planet,
Teach us your wondrous truths.
Speak words that bring wholeness,
To us,
To our communities,
To the earth our island home.

Many blessings

Join Christine Sine on March 2nd 10a-12p PST (check my timezone) or watch the recording later.
What do you long for as you look towards Easter?
How can we create Beauty from the ashes of the past? 
The Lenten season is meant to be a time for reflection, retreat and refocusing in preparation for our celebration of Easter. Yet most of us find it hard to take time out of our busy schedules for this much needed reorientation time.
Join Christine Sine for a morning of scripture reading and quiet reflection that will be for many of us a much needed oasis of quiet in the midst of our chaotic lives

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