A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
(Psalm 51:14, 17, excerpted from the Ash Wednesday liturgy)
Lent is a season of renewal, a time when we are invited to deepen and strengthen our relationship with God in an intentional way, in communion with the whole Church. This Lent, we invite you to take the 40 in 40 challenge: to spend forty days making some sort of change in your life in preparation for living more fully the Paschal mystery we celebrate anew each Easter.
How is God calling you to respond to this invitation?
Each day, a member of our community has been asked to offer a reflection on the daily readings. You are invited to comment upon the reflections here.
Good Friday, April 10th, 2009
Good Friday is the second leg of the Easter Triduum, a continuation of the liturgy begun yesterday on Holy Thursday that will culminate in the celebration of the Easter Vigil tomorrow evening. If you walk into a church today, the altar will be stripped of all cloths, candles, and decoration, and the tabernacle will be empty. In some way, we ourselves hope to arrive at today’s liturgy mirroring the sanctuary: exposed and vulnerable after forty days of Lenten preparations, full of anticipation for the coming remembrance of Christ’s passion (and resurrection).
On my journey home to celebrate Easter with my family, I lost my wallet. Then, today, I lost my trusty old watch, just after finally replacing the battery. I spent some time being frustrated with the situation and myself, but when I was able to take a step back I asked myself:
Without the identification I carry in my wallet--without proof that I belong to a particular family, that I am a member of the SLU community, that I have access to money and insurance---who is it that I am? Apart from the band I wear on my wrist, how do I measure the time that is given me on this earth?
As Lent draws to a close, we will most likely come to the realization that we didn’t keep our resolutions as perfectly as we might have hoped, and that our struggle to break free from the things that separate us from perfect relationship with God will continue well beyond this season.
On this day, let us echo the prayer of Jesus and the psalmist: to commend our spirits and our trust into the hands of our faithful and loving God, and let us take some time to ponder and give thanks for the tremendous outpouring of Jesus’ love as he embarked on his painful and difficult journey to the cross at Calvary for our sake, in all our brokenness.
Mary Lou Bozza
Past Daily Reflections
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Weekly Reflection Question: Space to Blog
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Keeping Lent in Community
When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you. (Matthew 6: 16-18, from the Ash Wednesday liturgy)
How will you envision the practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving? What will be your "forty" pledge? We invite you to record your Lenten discipline, anonymously or just using your first name or initials, in order that we can support one another in prayer as a community throughout this season. We encourage you to take time to pray for members of the community in their pledges as part of your Lenten discipline.
What do you pledge? (Please note, it will take a few minutes for your pledge to appear above)