When I left my childhood faith and embraced the United Methodist tradition, one of the many practices that I never observed until converting was Lent. I just thought the season was reserved for Catholics, and I didn’t give it a further thought. I also assumed that Lent was just about giving up things. Little did I realize that the observance of a “Holy Lent” would become a very important part of my faith practice.
I first approached my first Lenten season with fear and trepidation. I thought to myself, “This is a dreary and depressing season. Who in the world wants to observe this time of the year?” Everything seemed to suggest mourning and sadness. I was uncomfortable and did not like the tone of the church.
As I grew in my faith, I found that Lent offered me a way to rediscover the very basics of my belief in God. I learned the importance of remembering my mortality and searching the very depths of my soul for the things that brought me closer to death. I kept asking myself, “What separates me from my creator?”
Over time, my practice grew to include things that I could add to my day to remind me of God’s love and kindness. Last year I added a commitment to writing a blog each day, this year I will pray the daily prayers of the Office of the Divine Hours. Whatever I chose, I hope to increase my awareness of the presence of the Holy One, and to once again offer myself to His service. I pray that I may grow in the love and knowledge of Christ, and develop something far beyond a faith practice. I hope to begin a life commitment.
Praise be to God, who constantly reminds us of His love for us.
Our Ash Wednesday service today was beautiful, and Father Eric’s message was very similar to yours, so I get to hear them twice in one day. Must be a good message there. Blessed Lenten season to you and your family.
Leave a comment