There was a time when I didn’t particularly like Lent. All the talk of repentance, self-examination, and self-denial weren’t very appealing to me. But as I’ve grown, dare I say – matured, I have come to appreciate Lent. In reality I have come to realize that I need Lent. My close friend and former prof Joanne Mercer likens Lent to a fresh start or starting with a clean slate. I like that. I need that; we all do.
I love the inivitation to Lent in the Book of Alternative Services:
I invite you therefore, in the name of the Lord,to observe a holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God. Let us kneel before our Creator and Redeemer.
Lent is about letting go of our pretensions to power, perfection, and mortality. It is in letting go ouf our lives that we gain life. Remember you are dust, and in God’s dust lives.
Usually I am a “taker-upper” and not so much a “giver-upper” during Lent. I do try to discipline myself in terms of spending and eating. I usually try to take something on. This year I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Actually I know I have. For the next forty days I will attempt to keep the Daily Offices, but not simply the three mandated in the BCP and BAS. Instead I am going old school by followingthe monastic model of praying six times a day. I’ve even created my own prayer book (I know I’m a geek!). The offices are
Lauds – 6 am
Terce – 9 am
Sext – 12 noon
None – 3 pm
Vespers – 6 pm
Compline – 9 pm
I had a taste for this on retreat and decided I would try it for Lent. These offices work great when you’re living a cloistered life, but what about life in the real world?
So as I take this journey I will share my thoughts, successes, failures (i expect a lot of those around Lauds at six in the morning), and frustrations. Please pray for me and jouney along with me in my Lenten prayer journey.