Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Lent 2015 - One

Jesus entered into a ship, and sat in the sea ... he taught them many things by parables. Mk 4:1
A Journey In Prayer Through Lent

Traditionally Lent has three main components, or disciplines that make up our Lenten observance:  

Our focus for these next posts will be on that of PRAYER. Our experience of life may be thought of in the context of the passage of time. Psalm 90:2 describes it in this way: Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

But the gospel reveals a different vision of our life. Yes, life is a passage through time, and trouble and sorrows do accompany it, and we do fly away in the end, but not into nothingness as the atheists would have it. Our brief few years spent in this tiny corner of the universe are a beginning not the end.

"What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him-- 1 Cor. 2:9

Self denial and Works of Charity are the outward manifestation of the true character of our religious life, but it is Prayer that is the source and inspiration for our actions. The power we need to live a fruitful Christian life is channeled into our minds and hearts through Prayer.

The gospel text for the First Sunday of Lent is the account of Jesus' forty days of prayer in the wilderness. The Spirit takes Jesus into the wilderness, apart from everyone, into an intense experience of prayer, to prepare him for work the Father has sent him to accomplish. Different translation describe it as;  Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness <> Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness <> the Spirit impelled Him into the wilderness.

Jesus' praying is a dynamic experience, a communion in the Spirit, a dialogue with the heavenly realm - and in this wilderness experience, a personal confrontation with Satan himself. It is in and through this "communion in prayer" that the will - the plan of the Father, is revealed to Jesus. This way of prayer is the model for our own prayer. The Spirit desires to take us into this same dynamic experience and dialogue with the heavenly realm, where we too learn the will of the Father for us.

Here are some suggestions in preparation for prayer in Lent

Calendar for Lent

A calendar showing the days of Lent, including the scripture text references for each day, can be a helpful organizer. It helps keep track of any missed days, as well as highlighting days of special insight.

When and Where

Appointing a time and place for prayer protects prayer time from the danger of being swept aside by our many other demands and interests.


“What just happened?” Prayer is an experience. This means we should be able to describe it as if telling another about our experience. Over time a more coherent understanding of the progress of my spiritual life begins to emerge.


Our primary scripture source will be the daily Lenten texts. Praying scripture is not the same as studying scripture. When someone is speaking to us we want to listen to what they are saying. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”. The principal place for hearing scripture is in the Liturgy of the Word.

Another source of both written text and audio can be found on the USCCB web site, on the “Daily Mass Readings” page, which has both audio and written rendering of the scripture for each day.


Word on Fire, Fr. Barron’s daily reflection:

the WORD Among Us, for Lent:

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