In the season of Lent almost upon us, this year, I will:
- partake of alcohol only in sacramental wine, refraining otherwise, and reflecting on the role alcohol and other substances have played in our culture and religious practice; and will amend my life based on the fruit of those reflections;
- spend more focused time in daily prayer, study, and meditation, seeking the clarity that comes from a refreshed spirit;
- continue with efforts already begun to renew the usefulness of my physical body, including food moderation and exercise; and
- step away from Facebook, except once a day at around 9 p.m. my time, when I will post whatever small learning I have come across that day. (If you need to get in touch with me, please try a different way.)
"The movement toward a deeper and more profound awareness of God is a spiraling movement toward simplicity that occurs when we voluntarily let go of all our attachments that keep us from moving deeper within. This is not a rejection of the created world, all of which is God's delightful gift to us, but rather is the rejection of our tendencies to grasp aspects of creation in a way that diminishes our unity with God." --Laura Swan, The Forgotten Desert Mothers, p. 36
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word. --Book of Common Prayer, p. 265
Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will accept no bull from your house, nor he-goat from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High;
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
-- From Psalm 50