March 13, 2014
“Our ability to understand resurrection, our experience of both a personal Easter as well as the Easter of Christ, is shaped by our stance toward life and what it brings our way. Herein lies the purpose of Lent. Whether it is imposed by circumstances or chosen through spiritual discipline, Lent is about nurturing a posture that holds all things lightly, that ensures that our passions are subject to us and not the other way around.” Pennoyer, Greg & Gregory Wolfe, ed., God For Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter, Paraclete Press, Brewster, Massachusetts, 2014, p. x.
Nurturing “a posture that holds all things lightly,” ensuring “that our passions are subject to us and not the other way around” — these describe the focus and purpose of Lenten practices as well as any description I know of.
I discovered God For Us just a week or so ago through the BookNotes Blog of my very favorite bookstore (a shout out to http://www.heartsandmindsbooks.com/ — Hi, Byron and Beth!), and it’s the best book of meditations for Lent I’ve ever used. The book is designed exceptionally well, with tons of great art to contemplate as you read the meditations. This is an excellent idea for those of us who tend to have far too many words bouncing around in our skulls and can benefit from an exercise of quiet, non-linear resting in the beauty of images.