How am I to enter into Lent?

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Peter Donnelly

The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent…
Mark 1:15

“Repent” means “change the direction in which you are looking for happiness.” The call to repentance is the invitation to take stock of our emotional programs for happiness based on instinctual needs and to change them. This is the fundamental program of Lent.”
Thomas Keating, The Mystery of Christ

How am I to enter into Lent?
How to “change the direction in which I am looking for happiness.“?
What shall I give up and of what shall I partake as food
for the journey to resurrected life? Possible small acts of renunciation
-fasting from news
-fasting from the television
-fasting from food, sweets, alcohol
-fasting from negative commentary of some sort
-countless ways of fasting; each of us has our own variety
Then, we are invited to uncritically observe the impacts on self:
-the discomfort
-the freed-up time
-the freed-up money
-What is being revealed? Is a kind of purification taking place, a cleansing of self-will, of habitual, mechanical, self-calming behaviors? Is there a wakefulness arising?
Possible acts created by these spaces
-reading Scripture
-listening to sacred music
-walks in nature
-lengthening our prayer times
-reading a special book, maybe one we’re not likely to read
-creations of beauty
-or, maybe it’s simply redefining the contours of our daily existence and infusing them with a renewed intentionality: “I will do this yard work, this ironing, this chauffeuring, this attendance at a meeting and re-orient it with an attentiveness and consciousness born of spaciousness, rather than hurriedness.”

Excerpt from The Word of the Week of March 3, 2019

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