FOR HOPE

Lenten Practice: Holy Attention
Daily Act: Pray the mission prayer and be open throughout your day. “God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me the courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.”
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.

“AWAKEN ME TO YOUR PRESENCE IN AND THROUGH ALL CREATION.”

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

We are in the heart of Lent.
We have been clearing an inward space for days, weeks.
With reluctance we have laid down slowly
The need to be in control.
We have been seeking spiritual freedom
From the chains of complacency that bind us.

Slowly, we have been clearing out.
Still we are clearing-
A process.
The more we face
The more we find.

The space-making is not
For new obsessions with what is found.
It is not for tearing ourselves down
Or becoming self-absorbed in another way.
It is not for getting lost in lament
Or throwing up our arms in hopeless abandon
At our flawed human condition.

It is for seeing.
It is for making ready.
It is for holy expectation.
It is for hope.

It is for loosening the grip of distraction
To focus our hearts on what they
Yearn for anyway-
The abundance of God’s presence
Active and moving and living
In the world around us.

It is for releasing the illusion of safety
To risk on the God beyond our knowing
So we can risk on others
Who we are called to know.

It is for awakening
From the rituals
That can numb us-
That tempt us with thinking
The routine is the relationship
While our hungering hearts
Crave what is real.

It is for casting aside all fear
And doubt
And disbelief
And apathy
And anything
That would say to us
Nothing is working

And to see again
How the Spirit
Has never stopped
Moving
Speaking
Breathing
Everywhere
Always
Within and
Around us.

Keep clearing out.
Keep making this space.
Dare to let go of whatever stifles
God’s fullest life in us.

It is for seeing.
It is for making ready.
It is for holy expectation.
It is for hope.

God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me the courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.

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