By Sister Maria Hughes, ASC
Today, we begin the Season of Lent, a holy time marked by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These three traditional disciplines are paths to greater balance and wholeness in our spiritual lives. While thinking about this season, I came across a little reflection by Jerry Welte about these three disciplines.
Here are his thoughts for Lenten practice, first published in “Words of Grace, Daily Reflections & Prayers for Catholics.”
- Balance your spiritual life by integrating the body, mind and soul in your prayer life.
- Enhance meditative prayer by “unplugging” from the TV, car radio, smart phone or other device.
- Create space to hear God’s voice.
- Increase the quality, not necessarily the quantity, of your prayer time.
- Let your body express your prayer with yoga, Tai Chi, dance, walking, waiting.
- Use your fasting, not to impress God with your discomfort, but to feed on the gifts for which you hunger most.
- Let your fasting serve the lives of others as well as your own.
- Fast from some of your private pursuits to become food for community and friends.
- Fast from anger, blame and entitlement.
- Feast on forgiveness, affirmation and the common good.
- Give your time and talent.
- Give what you would have spent on a movie or a treat to a charity.
- Let your own poverty, whatever it may be, enrich the lives of others.
- Give generously, not just from the leftovers, but from the “first fruits” of your table.