02 March 2014

Lenten Praxis

The year before last I posted the following idea during the latter part of Lent. This year I wanted to put it up in time for folks to use it for the whole of Lent if they desired. It was given to me by my Pastor.

 The idea is to choose 40 people who have been significant in your life and faith journey. Perhaps these are folks who have helped you "choose life." (If one has a smaller circle of significant friends and family, then one would list how ever many that really is.) Each of the 40 days of Lent one writes one of these people a note thanking them for who they are and what they have meant or do mean to you. (If your list is more modest, you could break the 40 days up and write notes at regular intervals.) During that day (or that period), you also pray for that person especially.

I would suggest that this might also work well for the season of Easter. We Fast during Lent in a variety of ways, but Easter is a time of feasting, and certainly more specifically of savoring the new life that is ours in Christ! One could take something of the same practice then and write the people who have given us life in all of the ways that occurs. I consider this a clearly Eucharistic practice because it is one of gratitude (eucharistein), but also because it embodies that gratitude in ways which can transform the world. It does so by allowing us to live from hearts that are more fully remade by our savoring of the love others have shown us and allowed us to give as well. To savor such love, to reflect on it and allow ourselves to be further nourished by it is surely Eucharistic at its roots.

My thanks to my pastor for such a wonderful idea. How ever you decide to adapt the practice, I hope you will give it a try yourselves!