Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Over the last several years, I've practiced the observance of Lent. Growing up in the Southern Baptist tradition as I did, we did not observe this season. I'm not sure I had even heard the word until I was in my 20's. Even still, it has become an annual ritual of mine and one that I eagerly anticpate. It is a time for me of reflection, repentance, rest and restoration (That sounds so "preacher-like"! I promise the alliteration was unintended!) I'll share more in the coming days of what I'm choosing to "let go of." At it's essence, it involves a slowing down. A slowing down of mind, body and spirit. I need this. For today, I simply leave you with a prayer. I discovered this prayer a couple of weeks ago as I was reading of Lenten and Ash Wednesday practices. It feels like a good way to begin.

Prayer of Saint Ephrem, the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life, keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement, lust of power and idle chatter. [kneel/prostration]

Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love. [kneel/prostration]

O Lord and King, grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge my brother; for You are blessed now and ever and forever. Amen. [kneel/prostration]

Grace and peace to you.