Wednesday 9 March 2011

Ash Wednesday

40 days to a new you
Ever wish you had your own personal spiritual trainer? For Lent we offer you 40 of them, starting with ....

1. Henri J. M. Nouwen: An Ash Wednesday prayer
How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting, and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death?
Yes, Lord, I have to die--with you, through you, and in you--and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess.... I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it. O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen. (A Cry for Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee, Orbis)

Nouwen (1932--96) was a Dutch priest, writer, lecturer, spiritual guide, and leader at the L'Arche Daybreak Community for people with mental and physical disabilities.

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