Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lenten Reflection 2010

In the past, I have sent a short, daily reflection each day during Lent. (My apologies for being late this year due to sickness).

These reflections on the Scripture of the day are meant to be a help for a daily 5-10 minute reflection or prayer. Some of these reflections are adapted from Henri Nouwen; others will be written by someone else or me. If you feel moved to write one or two, please let me know.

Let me I suggest the following format for each reflection:
1. Place yourself in God's presence, perhaps with a prayer like: "Spirit of God, please pray through me, draw me to you, sanctify, and create me anew."
2. Read the reflection slowly and be attentive to what stirs within you.
3. Speak to God or Jesus about whatever is on your mind and in your heart.
4. Listen to God's response or simply rest in God's presence with an open mind and a receptive heart.
5. End with the "Our Father" or another favorite prayed slowly.


Thursday, 1st Week: God Always Gives More Than Enough

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” - Matthew 7:7-8

Jesus reveals a God who promises to answer those who earnestly call out for help. Moreover, God doesn't give us just enough. God gives us in abundance. More than enough, more food than we can eat, more love than we dare to ask for. But if God is a generous giver, then why do many of our prayers remain unanswered?

Queen Esther’s prayer of deep reliance gives us a clue: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you.” - Est C:14 We can only see and enjoy God's generosity when our hearts and minds are unclouded and unfettered. When we are full of demands or attachments, we narrow our vision only to those peoples, things, and conditions that we think will make us happy. When we focus on what we did not get, we miss God’s blessings, disguised in other ways. We remain distant from God and unable to experience what God truly wants to give us, which is life and life in abundance. Moreover, we close ourselves to God when we, as individuals or societies, consume more than what we need, thereby restricting others access to God’s bountiful gifts. The journey of Lent involves recognizing when our sense of entitlement, self-preoccupation, or fear keeps us from experiencing God who wants what is best for us. And seeking help for conversion of heart.

Lord, help us to live gratefully and simply, so that others may simply live.

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