I invite you to join me on a journey through Lent exploring an intention to live a greater compassion in this life. The world needs this from us. We’ll start with several days of exploring what compassion means, and then hear from voices though all the times and places of the earth who have taught us and shown us what compassion looks like in life. We’ll do this for the 40 days of Lent, Sundays being excluded from this exercise and set aside for worship and sabbath rest.
Dictionary.com tells us that compassion is “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
Have you ever thought of compassion as not just a feeling, but a drive to act? Compassion is not just noticing that someone is suffering, and feeling bad for them, but it includes an awakening of our imagination and soul to act on alleviating their suffering. We begin this time of intention with a hope that our souls become not only more aware of the suffering of others, but that we learn to dream and act in creative and hopeful service to those who suffer.
Ash Wednesday is next week, February 18th! If you know me, then you’ve probably heard me mention growing up without a Lenten tradition. I was raised in an interesting little brand of Protestant Christianity which emphasized that days like Christmas Day and Easter were not to be religious holidays for us. We could celebrate them, but not religiously. We didn’t wear “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” buttons and we were told that “Every Sunday is Easter!” So yeah, Lent didn’t exactly fit the model we used for faith.
I discovered that Lent holds hidden treasures and depths of spirituality that I desperately need. Growing older and going deeper in studying Orthodox Theology and exploring my own affinities for high church experience with beloved Episcopal and Roman Catholic friends and guides, I have come to appreciate the practice and I insist on the cleansing cycle of Lent for my life. It is always a good time, time well spent and effort rewarded by drawing closer to God in tangible ways.
Here are some of the things I’ve found across the web that can help us get into a Lenten journey this year. These are recommendations on things from photo-a-day projects to creating your own sacred space for prayer and meditation…
I would also like to share a few things I have worked on over the years for Lent… the first is a Lent With the Psalms 2015. I made this last year for 2014 and have updated it for the days of Lent in 2015. Also, two years ago I made a daily life retreat that I have updated and readied for this year: 2015 Lenten Daily Retreat. Finally, new for this year… I will be tweeting/blogging/Facebooking daily during Lent on the Theme of Compassion! Hope you’ll jump in and participate!
Here are some other related posts on prayer from my blog…
Have a blessed Lenten Season!