LENT 2015, in the Western Church, begins on February 18.  The season of Lent is a gift offered in the life of the Church, inviting the individual to take a 40 day retreat for reflection and renewal.  The busyness of contemporary life has made it difficult to engage in the Lenten gift, but it can happen as one intentionally sets aside time in Lent for the spiritual practices that lead to Christian growth.  Lent is a time for the disciple to engage in spiritual change and transition, but how?

The most dramatic change in the Christian life comes at the moment when God reaches into the life of the individual and declares the forgiveness of sins, reconciling the sinner unto God’s self.  This is totally and completely God’s action, and it brings dramatic change.  As God creates faith by the power of the Holy Spirit, the individual is empowered for the change and transformation that comes through what Martin Luther calls the “daily dying and rising” and what Benedict calls, “daily conversion.”  These practices are important every day of the year, but Lent offers special time for this experience as one sits in the presence of God.

Benedict (480-542 A.D.) and Martin Luther (1483-1546 A.D.) taught that the process of daily change and transition happens through the Holy Spirit working through Word and Sacrament.  How does this process take place?  Both Luther and Benedict would say that the process begins as one follows the teachings of St. Paul in Romans 12: 1-2: 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The invitation to daily change comes through being present to God through Gods Word.

As we prepare to enter this Lenten season, we are invited to do so as a time of growth.  I will be sending out this series of blogs on my web site and on Facebook that will offer suggestions for spiritual practice that will support you on your Lenten journey.

  • February 10    Walking Through Lent With a Spiritual Companion
  • February 12    Setting a Place and Time for Daily Retreat
  • February 15    Authenticity as Dying, Rising and Conversion
  • February 17    Meditation and Contemplative Prayer
  • February 22    The Touch of Prayer
  • February 24    Call To Service
  • March 1           To The Cross

I would love to hear from you as you move through Lent.  Please feel free to share spiritual practices that you have found helpful.

Related Posts