Lent: How It's Keeping Us this Year

Lent: How It's Keeping Us this Year

Just shy of two weeks ago some dear colleagues and I were sitting at the community lunch table. Between tidbits from class and the day-to-day came, of course, a discussion of Lent. It was, after all, the week before Ash Wednesday: the beginning of many folks’ favorite time of Year.

Lent's popularity crosses all the major Christian traditions. Even evangelicals and capital “P” Protestants are doing it. My family kept Lent when I was a girl—and we were Southern Baptist!

There is something about this season of preparation, this invitation to turn and walk lighter in the shadow of the cross. It moves many of us in a deep way, like the gradual pull of an ocean current or the flirty come-hither dance of a fire’s flame.

Perhaps we know in our bodies—centers of integral discernment our brains oft ignore—that something important will be said and asked of us at Easter. We’ll need to prepare for that. It does a body good to prepare for the holy. I feel that need. All the ions in my body point toward that laden cross and empty grave.

Like the rest of the Year, Lent is something that happens--whether we “do” anything about it or not. Our “doing,” though, can help us become more aware of God’s wooing ways, of God’s invitation to the way of the cross.

Saint Anne on the Porch: A Peacehaven Chronicle

Saint Anne on the Porch: A Peacehaven Chronicle

Sharing another Peacehaven story from the memory-swamp in my brain. This one has wound itself around Transfiguration Sunday, which was yesterday.

A moment of glory--

We sat on the porch that morning. Our little band of Peacehaven dwellers gathered up like we were itching to get at something. It wasn’t quite hot yet, but almost. Anne sat on my left. We rocked our chairs together.

The brothers fiddled with their thoughts and various social negotiations—eyes darting here and there, with a “you know what…” followed by an awkward joke or two. We let it pass as a group. Those things happen. We kept rocking.

Then, all of a sudden, there was peace.

Brigid of Kildare: A Sister from the Womb of God

Brigid of Kildare: A Sister from the Womb of God

A few months ago a professor asked my colleagues and me to practice Lectio Divina with nature. Lectio Divina, or divine reading, is a spiritual way of reading scripture in order to listen for the whispers of God. It involves reading a brief passage several times while noticing with each pass which part seems to shimmer at the reader, draw the reader in, or ask something of the reader.

My professor wanted us to do this with nature. To go outside with God and discern that which God was asking us to see or to sit with.

Goosebumps still stand on my arms to remember the way matter and Mystery communed and communicated together that drizzly afternoon.

My experience went like this...

Where Healing Begins

Where Healing Begins

It had been quite a few months since my parents split.

It had also been quite a few months since my shoulders knew how to relax past my earlobes.

I was tight as a bowstring, ready to hurl my arrows of icy apathy on anyone who came close. I knew getting close would cause me to bend out of my rigid fortress, and I knew it would hurt.

As it was, drawn up like that, there was no feeling. I felt nothing. 

My doctor said I was depressed. No shame in it.

However, as a 17-year-old, there wasn’t much about my life that wasn’t shame-ridden.

My mom had left...