Prayer for first Sunday in Lent

How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting, and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death?

Yes, Lord, I have to die – with you, through you, and in you – and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess…. I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it.

O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.

(Henri Nouwen from A Cry for Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee,  found on this Lenten blog)

On risk-taking (1)…

“If we want to have all our bases covered before we act, nothing exciting will happen. But if we dare to take a few crazy risks because God asks us to do so, many doors, which we didn’t even know existed, will be opened for us.”( Henri Nouwen)

This quote seemed to follow on nicely from yesterday’s one about the transforming power of dreams.

Taking risks… never easy at any time of life… especially if you are like me and like to have all your bases covered, everything thought out and analysed, pros and cons weighed up, before making a move.

But we are called to take risks for God… to have the courage to dream dreams and to act upon them in faith.

Perhaps in recent times I have forgotten how to take risks for God?

I am weary… preoccupied… disillusioned.

Yet in the past I embraced the risks that came with faith and the call of God upon my life… when did I lose that?

Maybe I need to wake up to risk?

Time to reawaken hope and expectation… to recapture the dreams I once had?

Time for a miracle?

Picture is ‘irrepressible’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

Humming in the dark…

I came across this meditation from Henri Nouwen recently.. and I post it here for myself and for everyone else in need of hope.

“Hope means to keep living
amid desperation
and to keep humming
in the darkness.

Hope is knowing that there is love,
it is trust in tomorrow.

It is falling asleep
and waking up again
when the sun rises.

In the midst of a gale at sea,
it is to discover land.

In the eyes of another,
it is to see that you are understood.

There will also be prayer . . .
And you will be held
in God’s hands.”

Picture: ‘waking the forest’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr