For Friday, February 24, 2023
The Season of Lent conjures up a dreary and lengthy period of time centered around self-denial, fasting, and hours on your knees. But, as said here yesterday, let's fast from more than just food or addictive substances during this time. Let us voluntarily give up conscious and discover our unconscious habits that are physically and spiritually unhealthy. We can seek ways to take on a new daily spiritual activity in this Lenten season, even if we already have a regular practice. Trying out different forms of prayer or meditation, reading a biography of or the writings of a current or classic biblical scholar or authors on different forms of spiritual/prayer practices can give us ideas for fresh ways of living our faith. Look for a variety of inspirational quotes or readings in and out of Christianity for a broader perspective. People such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Dali Lama, Amy-Jill Levine, the poet Rumi, Pema Chodron, mystic monk Thomas Merton, or Evelyn Underhill, to name a very few. Start slowly. This soul work isn’t meant to be difficult or overwhelming but rather to spend a few minutes a day to whet our appetites for continuing to grow in Christ. As we dedicate those acts to God for the benefit of our spiritual life, we can pray as we go that, by the end of this Lent, we will find new ways of living a more positive and fulfilling Christian life beyond these 40 days.
Dear God of Us All,
Every day “civilization” seems to be getting ever more crass and distasteful. Even TV entertainment seems to revolve around the "reality" of watching people's "real lives" crash and burn, with no dignity attached. Illegal “outlaw” activities, 90 day relationships, easy online gambling, lots of naked and nearly, and so much more. Even the commercials are mostly 30 second sound bites or full-on infomercials with explicit details of intimate self-care and every conceivable “clinically tested but not FDA approved" remedy for everything. But if big football heroes, tv doctors hawking their own expensive brands, and aging actors approve… I wonder, in what basement is that “clinic?” What does this do to the souls of those participating or my own if I watch beyond the previews?
For today, I'm going to give up tv and take on gathering those usable clothes and household things that I’ve been meaning to donate and actually do it. I'll pray for those who will use them and spend time in prayers of thanksgiving for all the blessings of life that I have. I'll also work on reducing the amount of time I spend on thinking mean thoughts about people on certain types of tv, oh, and especially those people I encounter while I'm driving. amen.
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