Sunday, February 14, 2010


I've been attending the New Members' Class at my field ed church, and today a young lady, a high school student who's planning to join the church with her mother, drew me aside and asked me to explain what Lent is and to give her some suggestions for participating in it.

Two weeks ago, my best friend at seminary asked whether I wanted to join her at the church we went to two years ago for the Ash Wednesday service. I quickly said yes, remembering only the next day how traumatized I was by last year's service at my home church, when I had realized too late that I did not want anything to do with those ashes, since I have an urn full of them in my own home. I have not yet decided what I am going to do this week.

At any rate, Lent is coming, and it is going to pull me into its vortex, regardless of what I say or do about it. Last year I posted my response to the first reading; I am going to have to give some thought to what, if anything, has changed with the passing of another twelve months.

Jan has posted a wonderful selection of resources for the upcoming season. I haven't looked at all of them, but so far I especially like this little calendar from Explore Faith.

My Jesuit list:

from the Jesuit Retreat House in Cleveland,

from Creighton University;

from the Loyola Press Ignatian Spirituality site.

It all comes down to the same two quotes I was thinking about as Lent loomed on the horizon a year ago:

You cannot conceive...nor can I or anyone -- the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.
~ Graham Greene, Brighton Rock

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


Daisy said...

Such good quotes.


Karen said...

I don't observe Lent, but the reference to the ashes, I get...

ashes--the fitting symbol for looking toward the Death that buys us Life.