Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten Meditations begin today

Lenten Meditation—29 Feb 2012
“I offer these reflections to again unite what should never have been separated: Sacred Scripture and Christian spirituality.”  (Things Hidden, page 5)

Jesus in Golgotha by Theophanes the Cretan
          As I began thinking about a book to  pore through for Lent this year, I found in my collection a volume that had been given me by a friend a couple of years ago for Christmas and realized that it would be the ideal topic.  Many of us take on a discipline of some sort—either giving something up (preferably desired and not frivolous) or taking something on.  A Lenten discipline that does not include both prayer and some Scripture reading is in need of some adjustment, in my opinion.  The “giving up” aspect provides a myriad of opportunities for prayer, since as soon as we choose to give up something our tempter puts that very thing right in front of us; give up some food and see how many TV ads are about food.  When temptation strikes, pray for strength to persevere. Remember Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane? And as soon as we take on a discipline such as a few minutes of meditation, it seems like we are distracted by a telephone or door bell. 

          The book I have chosen for Lent is written by Richard Rohr, a Roman Catholic Franciscan monk who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The book title is Things Hidden, Scripture as Spirituality.  Rather than taking the Bible book by book or focusing only on one book of the Bible, Father Rohr explores major themes that flow throughout both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.  The author relates that this work is based on a series of talks first given in 1998, but updated now some 25 years later. 

          I recommend that you read meditatively with the volume in one hand and a Bible in the other.  There are numerous scripture references which may be read in context in order to fully understand the author’s meaning.  Read slowly and let the words of Rohr and the biblical authors take root, allowing prayer to arise out of your time.  This will perhaps require giving up some time, or more properly setting aside some time each day to immerse yourself in the task.  This discipline will open up the opportunity to take on the study of biblical themes, some of which may be uncomfortable.

          It is my intention to offer written meditations most of the week days through the remainder of Lent, although there may be a day or two that are missing.  Saturdays and Sundays may or may not have offerings.  I found during Advent that some on some Sundays I just had to write, even before the busy-ness of Sunday services.  So bear up and bear with me as we travel the road to Jerusalem, following our Lord to Golgotha and ultimately to the empty tomb.

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