Is it time for Lent again? It seems like the year just flies by. No one ever says: Is it time for Spring again? We long for the melting of the ice and snow revealing the frozen ground and the dead, dried-up leaves. Because under that mulch the snowdrops and the crocuses are pushing up into the spring sunshine. That fresh smell of earth, that gentle breeze, tells us that things are about to change.
The yearly change in the seasons is a reminder that we need the same movement in our spiritual lives.
The word for Lent is rooted in a Middle English word for Spring. The physical reality of Spring reinforces what we need in our spiritual lives. For forty days we discard the gunk that has buried us in grime and bad choices. We let the cleansing rain of prayer and fasting and almsgiving remind us that God needs to be the center of our lives. Like a good gardener, we prepare the soil of our hearts to accept the seeds of kindness, openness, and faithfulness that Jesus longs to plant in his followers.
Spend some time sharing with God, giving God some time to talk with you, to whisper in your heart that you are good, in fact, Beloved. Let God hold your hand and take you in the direction of the Sun.
Hold back from those things that clutter up your life and table. Make room for the goodness that is God. Let God be your center. Feast on the fresh growth that God is sending you at this time.
Share what you have, who you are, why you need to notice the needs of others so that your needs are fulfilled. The mercy of almsgiving is recognizing that we all have needs and we are on this life journey together. We all need mercy, we all need Spring.
Spring time flows into the summer growing season. Lent ends in the powerful moment of Jesus dying on the cross asking God to forgive us “for we know not what we do.” And then we all gather in the Garden to share in the fruit of the Resurrection.
May this Lent bring about new growth and a fruitful, freshness as life returns to the earth and to each one of us.
Consider two upcoming programs, in person, at Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College.
Lenten Labyrinth Walk for Individuals and Small Groups (In-Person)
Just as life is not a maze, neither is the labyrinth — there is no trick to finding your way, only a faithful commitment to the journey. Join us during Lent for walking meditation and prayer.
Lenten Awareness Through the Lens of a Mandala (In-Person)
Center yourself through creative prayer this Lenten season. Turn inward to seek God’s presence through contemplative silence, shape, color, and movement.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:12-13
Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College is a ministry of Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.