Daily Lenten Reflection

Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. –Luke 9:22-24, NRSV

Who would willingly come to this threshold? With all society’s promises of happiness and fulfillment beckoning at every bend, who would choose to enter this week of suffering? Who would sit at the table of bread being broken, feeling the horrible tension of a body almost broken too? Who would be a witness at the cross of injustice, suffering, and grief? Who would go to the tomb to revisit the despair and dread, to face what can happen even to you who dare to challenge the systems of power? –Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Holy Week: To Enter the Suffering 

 

Reflect: 

  • How do you come to the threshold of Holy Week?
  • Consider the Lenten journey that has led you here. What has been preparing you for this Holy Week time of faith?
  • Prayerfully dwell with Luke 9:22-24. What is God’s invitation to you in this text?

Daily Lenten Reflection

But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. –Matthew 6:33, NRSV

That love alone can sustain our spiritual lives is the truth I think Jesus was getting at – and the truth that Frances was able to live – when he told his disciples to take nothing with them for their journey.  You see, only when we are willing to set aside what we have strived for and achieved can we come to rely solely on God’s generosity and the generosity of others.  And it is precisely this unearned generosity that teaches us grace, which then frees us to receive God’s unconditional love. –Dustin Davis, Disarmingly Simple 

Reflect: 

  • How can “love alone” sustain your spiritual life?
  • Imagine being free to receive God’s unconditional love. What is currently restricting you from fully receiving divine love, grace, and generosity?
  • Prayerfully dwell with Matthew 6:33. What is God’s invitation to you in this text?

Daily Lenten Reflection

You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. –Ephesians 4:22-24, NRSV

The call to simplicity in our spiritual lives is not an easy one to follow, I believe, because it forces us to confront our individualistic illusions of self-sufficiency. In his book called Eager to Love about St. Francis of Assisi and Franciscan spirituality, Rohr says, “In terms of spirituality, as in good art, less is usually more.  Or, to put it another way, small is beautiful.  Only by continually choosing a philosophy of ‘less’ that is willing to wait for God’s ‘more,’ will we grow and transform, since we have then learned to be taught by smallness and ordinariness…[Francis] rebuilt the spiritual life on ‘love alone,’ and let go of the lower-level needs of social esteem, security, self-image, and manufacturing of persona.” –Dustin Davis, Disarmingly Simple

Reflect: 

  • What illusions of self-sufficiency is the Lenten season calling you to confront?
  • When have you been transformed by “love alone?”
  • Prayerfully dwell with Ephesians 4:22-24. What is God’s invitation to you in this text?