Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday: A Lenten Pilgrimage Prayer

“Return to me with your whole heart” - Jl 2:12

Dear Lord Jesus,

Today Lent begins.
It is a time to simply be with you,
to journey with you towards Jerusalem
and share your passion, death, and resurrection
to new life.

I want to follow you, to become a pilgrim,
to travel toward the sacred destination,
and learn to trust you more radically along the way.

Yet, I am divided and torn.
I am entangled by the webs of busy-ness,
seduced by my own appetite for more
possessions, pleasure, power, popularity, and prestige
in overt and subtle ways.

Help me to not reduce this springtime season to the question:
“What am I giving up for Lent?”
Rather, help expand my journey with a greater inquiry:
“How do you invite me, Lord, to return to you with my whole heart?
Help me look honestly at aspects of my life and myself
that are in need of your Mercy.
Help me be found by you.
For you came to seek and to save what was lost (Lk 19:10).

Help me receive ashes today,
to acknowledge that am I dust,
and begin small steps in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Lord, I am not yet ready.
Give me the grace to begin this journey,
to let your merciful gaze draw me
and your peace guide me
home to you.

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