Our parish Lent Program - a 5 week course based on the Episcopal Bishops pastoral teaching on the environment. They write:
The mounting urgency of our environmental crisis challenges us at this time to confess “our self-indulgent appetites and ways,” “our waste and pollution of God’s creation,” and “our lack of concern for those who come after us” (Ash Wednesday Liturgy, Book of Common Prayer, p. 268). It also challenges us to amend our lives and to work for environmental justice and for more environmentally sustainable practices.
I hope our program this Lent will help us to begin to do just that and so I do encourage you to either signup for the Tuesday evening or attend the Sunday morning session.
I also want to offer you some suggestions of how to read yourself – at your own pace – through the coming six weeks of the Lenten season:
th C Anglican Divines coined the phrase
Habitual Recollection as the fourth of the four key spiritual practices for Anglicans, the other three being: Worship, The Daily Office, and Study (Lectio). Today in our more Buddhist conscious world we would call this every moment mindfulness.
My best recommendation this Lent is not to set out with expectations of getting it right! Ambition is the enemy of a purposeful spiritual life. I believe we all have within us a longing for God that is far deeper than we are usually in touch with. Habitual Recollection is the way we get in touch with that desire by working at becoming more aware of the presence of God in the ordinary weave of our daily lives. God goes before us into every situation we encounter. God penetrates us in all of life’s contexts. The capacity to recognize this consciously needs some simple triggers – like regular alarms set on our phones -that remind us to pause, breath, and give thanks.
The Prayer Book recommends some traditional spiritual practices for keeping Lent holy. You can find these
or on page 265. Viewed from a modern perspective these simply function to trigger us into remembering our longing for a deeper sense of God in our daily lives. Self-examination and self-control connect us with our sadness and sorrow, our irritation and anger. We need to be mindful of the way we speak to, and about, others. More importantly we need to better monitor our internal voices of judgement and criticism. Fasting and self-denial introduce elements of physical and emotional discomfort that trigger a conscious awareness of God. We feel hungry. Our hunger reminds us of our longing to love God more. Or, we deny ourselves something and the consciousness of deprivation functions similarly. The point I want to make is whatever you do, and feel free to explore new ways or stay with what works for you, it’s just a trigger for the conscious awareness in you of your longing for God.
Worship, pray, read and at the root of keeping Lent holy is this simple practice: pause, breath, and give thanks.
See you in Church, Sunday.