Thursday, 10 March 2011

Lent Day 2

Joyce Rupp: Focus on one thing only

Six months ago I lived the simple life of a pilgrim, walking 450 miles on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. During those seven weeks all I did each day was walk toward St. James Cathedral in Santiago. I didn't have to hurry madly to get there, pit myself against the walking pace of other pilgrims, or worry if my clothes were fashionable. I had just one main thing to do: walk. It took 10 days before my distracted self finally "just walked." From then on, little else occupied my mind and heart. It was the most focused and free I have ever been.
Since returning home, I see how easy it is to succumb to the subtle cravings of my superficially-oriented culture. It seduces me to clutter up my life, dress in a certain way, be knowledgeable on every subject, scurry around as busily as everyone else, and work in a frenetic fashion. When I give in to these things I am thrown off balance. I lose my peace and sense of inner direction. I lack clarity in my spiritual goals, forget the truths preached by Jesus, and experience frustrating days of self-orientation.
Lent is a time to clear away the cultural debris that disorients me on the Christian path. The Lenten acts of deprivation I choose are of little value unless they help my mind and heart to be more attentive and focused on one thing only: to walk the gospel message--to love as Jesus loved. All else is secondary.
Rupp is a member of the Servants of Mary community 
Prayer for Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Let everything I do this day and in this season of Lent
come from you, be inspired by you.
I long to be closer to you.
Help me to remember that nothing is important in my life
unless it glorifies you in some way.
It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day of my life and keep saying,
"Tomorrow, I will spend more time in prayer,"
but now my longing meets your love and I want to do it now. 
Help me to rely on you for help.
The prayer asks you that I reach perfection.
Please, Lord, remind me that "perfection"
isn't the crazy, "successful" way I try to live my life,
but a perfection of my most authentic, real self.
My "perfection" might be holding my many flaws in my open hands,
asking you to help me accept them.
Heal me, Lord, and help me to find you in the darkness of my life. 
Let me reach out in this darkness and feel your hand and love there to guide me.
Prayer from Daily Reflection Calender

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