contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

How To Survive Lent

5 марта 2014, Великое повечерие в среду первой седмицы Великого поста / 5 March 2014, The Great Compline on Wednesday of the first week of LentCreative Commons License Saint-Petersburg orthodox theological academy via Compfight

A Lenten Survival Guide

I feel compelled to write about Lent, because I think a lot of us have it all wrong. I know I did for years.

So Let’s cut to the chase:  Here’s your Lenten Survival Guide: Live spiritually from the ‘inside out’.

That said, here’s a quick outline for Lent:

“The purpose of life is intimacy with God.” ~David English  Not some self-imposed religious torture chamber.

Our ‘outside in’ approach to faith is killing us. Seriously, Dear brothers and sisters: We can’t, and never will get it right. So…

“Lent is not about self-improvement.” ~ John Zahl     Lent is about emptying ourselves so that we can receive, as the Pentecostals say, “More of Jesus, in more of me.”

Spiritual disciplines are how we harness what God is doing in our lives and magnify it.

In our common life together, we are worshiping communities, and worship creates intimacy.

“The church is not an enforcer of rules but an outpost of Grace.” ~ Brian Houston

~*~*~*~

God is Spirit.

Lent is taking time for contemplation, reflection, and diving in.

It’s a season for us to be intentional, to begin the discipline of putting our spirit first, rather than our body, or our mind, or our emotions.

If God is spirit, we must come to him in our spirit, through Jesus of course.

It’s our sacred destiny is to live from our spirit, not centered in our mind, or our emotions, or our body. I’ll flesh this out more in a later post.

Our spirit is where we hook up with God, while the rest of us takes a back seat.

Shifting ourselves into our spirit makes it possible for us to abide, and be spiritually nourished in the vine, Jesus, our spiritual master and Lord.

Is our life in Jesus mystical? Absolutely. We’ll never fully get our head around it. It’s by grace through faith that we live. It’s a perpetual gift that we can never earn.

Where the Spirit is, there is joy, peace and love that expands within us this abundant life of God. God liberates us.

Lent is about following Jesus example and dying to our selves, so that we might live in him. These are transformational matters, even incarnational ones.

The first step of spiritual awareness is to empty ourselves, or die to ourselves, so that we might awaken in our spirit to God.

This is the deeper meaning of Lent. It’s why we fast, and pray, and seek God.

Finally, are you having problems with Lent?

Lighten up, and live from your spirit, from the inside out.

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