Ash Wednesday — February 18
Sundays — February 22 — March 29
Maundy Thursday — April 2
Good Friday — April 3
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Lent has been the time when new converts to the Christian faith were prepared for baptism; a six Sunday season that asked, actually required, new and long-time Christians to enter into a time of honest “reckoning” of who they were in terms of how they lived out their faith. This included soul searching honesty and confessions of both the positive and the negative. Today, we continue to use this season as a time for sincere and honest soul searching.
The church has traditionally used this time as a time for renewal as well. In fact, reckoning and renewal go very well together. We understand that no real healing takes place outside of an honest assessment (ie: 12 Step programs), therefore to enter into the Easter Season of new life, we prepare with Lent’s focus on an honest reckoning of our own lives.
The Year’s Theme: Open to Peace
This year, we will be using the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi as our guide through the work of reckoning during this season of Lent. This beautiful prayer will invite us to look at where we experience hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness — not with the intention of encouraging hopelessness or bewilderment, but in order to bring these into the light of God’s healing love.
The truth is, if we assume that “time heals all wounds” — we are mistaken. If we never take the time to ponder over our shortcomings, our pain, and our fears, we will more likely end up with an abundance of scars, rather than actual healing.
So, in this Season of Lent you are invited into an experience of the Holy that can open you to peace in your own life — and in our world.
Begin this journey on Ash Wednesday.
Experience each Sunday morning a search through the challenges of Saint Francis’ prayer — the challenges of turning hatred to love, injury to pardon, doubt to faith, despair to hope, darkness to light, and sadness to joy.
Ponder Maundy Thursday and its profound claim that “it is giving that we receive”
Experience Good Friday’s witness to the truth that “it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”
Through all this, we will be more open to hear
Easter’s Good News that it is in “dying that we are born to eternal life.”
Become open to peace. It is God’s offering to you . . .