Learning from Sunday’s post, I will be silent myself for a while. I will provide you with an umbrella by pausing posting until March 15th, the Ides of March.
As a final thought, I will propose to you 6 disparate ideas for possible Lenten fare. As ever, thank you for reading here. I never take that for granted. A festive Mardi Gras and a blessed Lent to you.
1. Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom. This is my own personal favorite book on prayer that I have re-read too many times to count. https://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Pray-Anthony-Bloom/dp/0809115093/
2. Hallowed is a phenomenal prayer (et al) app: https://hallow.com/
3. The Lenten Spring by Fr. Tom Hopko is a wonderful Orthodox reflection on Great Lent: https://www.amazon.com/Lenten-Spring-Readings-Great-Lent/dp/0881410144/
4. The Straight Story. This is one of my top 10 fav movies, and is a movie that challenges our digital pace of life: https://youtu.be/e0zb_baTzkk
5. Here’s a podcast I did recently with Dr. Mario Sacasa, the second we have done together on anxiety: https://faithandmarriage.org/podcast/064-reflections-on-anxiety-with-dr-tom-neal/
6. The movie Into Great Silence is really something you should watch at least once in life. Give yourself 2.5 hours to watch, and at least 20 minutes after to allow it to marinade in your soul: https://youtu.be/sgNj2Sf_mgo:
Here’s a poem I wrote during a Lent when there was an enormous amount of uncertainty in my life, and during that stretch I came across this quote: “Trust His unchanging love in the change.”
My Lenten wasteland
You lead me, O Lord
from my most familiar taste
straying me lengthily in haste
outward toward a seeming barren waste
exiting all my black and white
setting clay certainties to flight
whilst entering this blessed night
within Our now-dimming sight —
Faith’s divinely hoping Light.
“Why?” ask I,
“Why must I?”
“That I,” you say, O Adonai
“yes that lonely I
in me must die
to live, only pray Thy
will be done
and live-love my beloved Son
in whom I am ever-One.”
….Anticipating this coming Sunday’s Gospel, I will leave you with some lovely visuals from the Judean desert Jesus spent 40 days in. I recommend you full-screen it, turn the sound off and imagine Jesus there.
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him. — Mark 1:12-13