“When accepted, suffering leads to wisdom, which is the perception of the divine goodness and purpose in everything that happens. Wisdom, peace, and faith — that is to say, perfect trust in God — transform suffering into — I won’t quite say ‘joy’ — but give it a meaning that takes away resistance and one can then see a value in one’s suffering that is . . . well, God-like.”
— Thomas Keating, “The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living” companion book
Yesterday I sat with a group of friends (after first helping usher) at a wonderful Ash Wednesday Service. The music, readings, prayers, meditation, imposition of ashes, and even the benediction all came together for a beautifully powerful worship service. And our shared theme for this whole Season of Lent, “Gifts of the Dark Wood,” invites us all to dig deeply and trust in the gifts of Wisdom in the Spirit. Thanks to all who have played a part in the preparation for this very important time of “Pilgrimage” through Lent.
We are living in a time of great suffering, anxiety, and fear. And, like Jesus in the wilderness, we are tempted to follow quick fixes and easy answers. But this Lent, we are called, perhaps more than ever in our lifetime, to dig deeply and to discern prayerfully God’s guidance. In this time when fear and bitter anger seem to drive the reactions around the world, we as Christians are called to live prophetically into and through the Way of Love that we know in the example of Jesus Christ and through Wisdom in the Holy Spirit.
In a time when fearful-reactionary-revolutions seem to be happening around the world, Jesus calls us to a different kind of revolution . . . and a better way. As Jesus called to Peter from the stormy sea, the Spirit calls to us now to let go of your fears and follow the way of loving grace through trusting faith.
Perhaps there is no better way to move through this particular Season of Lent than to live into a Trinitarian revolution . . . One that knows the source of all life and center of all salvation (healing and wholeness) is rooted and grounded in relationships of love. Here is Richard Rohr’s meditation about this time of deep change and new beginning. I am convinced that the Wisdom of the Spirit emerges when we are truly present and relate through that different and deeper power — God’s Love and Grace.
Blessing on the Journey,