Deepening My Lenten Experience


Nature strips herself in the Fall
Then she lays bare in the Winter
As she prepare herself for the blooming in the Spring
So she can celebrate gloriously in the Summer.

That is cycle of life.
We often forget it in the hustle and bustle of daily living.
Lent actually reminds us to be mindful of this cycle of life.
A good way of thinking about this cycle of life
are the three traditional practices in Lent:
Fasting. Giving. Praying.

Steve Jobs was a great believer in fasting.
In fact, he fasted regularly.
He may have had a maniacal drive for perfection in his products;
but he never really cared much about money and material possessions.
At one time he told his friend Larry Ellison,
“Larry, you don’t need anymore money. You already have billions.”
To which Larry replied, wryly probably,
“If I can, why should I let other guys take it?”
Fasting removes the accretions that accumulate around us like barnacles,
weighting us down.
It cleanses us of fat that stifle the spirit.
Fasting deadens our acquisitiveness and
our desire to hoard material possessions.
Fasting purifies.

When I give away what I have, my treasure,
I may feel diminished because I lose what I give away.
When I share and ‘give away’ my talents, what I can do,
I do not lose them but instead multiply them
and those talents are even enhanced.
And when I have nothing or am empty-handed
I can still share and ‘give away’ myself,
like finding the time to do good for others
or finding the time to be with a friend
or finding the time to serve family.
Indeed, there are many instances
when it is easier to give away talents and treasure
rather than to find the time to give of myself.
In the end, it is only what I have in my heart
that I can truly and generously give away.

One of the deepest human needs is the need to communicate, to connect.
I communicate ideas, insights and emotions to connect with others.
I often use words to do this
but words can sometimes get in the way.
it is sometimes better communicated when I say nothing at all.
A baby uses no words but it can communicate
a whole world of meaning and a whole range of emotions.
I commune with nature too.
I immerse myself in nature and
I am filled with countless ideas and insights and suffused with myriad emotions.
In prayer, I communicate with God.
I feel my God closest when I do more listening than speaking
in the silence,
in the stillness.
in the solitude.

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