these 40 days of Lent are often saturated with the sounds of discipline. I listen to the spiritual practices being exercised by friends and mentors with some intimidation.
Beginning with all good intentions it does not take long before my daily routine is scrambled and I begin to feel frustrations rise. if this spiritual practice is not exercised as it was designed is it cancelled? do I discard my whole plan because I missed a couple of days? I hear wise voices offer support and encouragement, reminding me that part of the practice is the journey. each one of these 40 days presents opportunities to learn and grow. if the unique routine of the holy season becomes the driving force then what might I be missing along the way?
good question! the path taken these 40 days is not smooth nor straight. that is the way to Jerusalem. deep in our faith story we know the road, itself, brings enlightenment and challenges.
instead of believing that without the perfect practice the journey is cancelled, I listen to Henri Nouwen’s reflection with gratitude. to persevere with the help of a gentle discipline the presence of love can be known. his words are welcome. there is no promise of an easier journey within Nouwen’s reflection but the thoughts of failing my Lenten practice begin to disappear.
these are 40 long days. may we all be encouraged and stay alert to welcome the presence of love. >