Asceticism

Asceticism – not a word you use every day

Lent is approaching and I’ve been considering the idea of asceticism. Which is different from minimalism.  But rather than my words, let’s look a the definition from A Concise Dictionary of Theology.

“Asceticism is the ways and mean sdopted by Christians under the action of the  Spirit to purify themselves from sin and remove obstacles in the way of freely following Christ. Genuine asceticism brings a growth in contemplation and the love of God that is not detrimental to personal maturity and socil responsibilty.”

And Lent…

The three pillars of Lent are prayers, fasting and almsgiving. Deacon John and I talk about how to decide what to both give up and do for Lent. We do not divest ourselves of attachments to worldly things for the good of our own self. We do it to grow closer to God and better serve others.

The steps to a plan

First, we pray. Then we consider our options. Add one act of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and give up something that allows you to have more time, money, energy – whatever is needed to do the acts you will do.

 

Lent begins on Ash Wedensday, Marh 4, 2022. Prepare for LEnt this week so you are ready when it begins. If you are listening outside of this time frame, pick something anyway to do for a week.

 

 

 

Is Lent a time of sacrifice or action?

What is Lent?

Lent is 40 days before Easter, it begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on the Wednesday before Holy Thursday. It is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving; a way to prepare ourselves for the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Sacrifice or Action?

I say both! Give up something and then do something. But it’s not only me saying this, God does too! Check out Isaiah 58:1-9a.

 

Yes, Lent has already started but it’s never too late to enter into the season. For this week, choose a sacrifice and an action for the rest of Lent.

FYI: I have a playlist for Lent on Spotify.

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God’s love for you

The 1st Commandment

Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have other gods beside me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;  you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation, but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.               Exodus 20:1-6

We are the apple of his eye

God has, in one way or another, brought us all out of slavery, just as he did the Israelites. His love for us knows no bounds. And when we put him first, he gives us unending mercy.
In chapter 32 of Deuteronomy Moses recounts all God has done and in verse 10 says,  He found them in a wilderness, a wasteland of howling desert. He shielded them, cared for them, guarded them as the apple of his eye.” 

We are his children

Not only did God give us Jesus for our salvation, we are his adopted children. John reminds us of that, ” See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” 1 John 3:1-2.

 

 

Read the 1st commandment and consider if you have things or people or activities that come before God. Do you want to change that? How could you do that?

Lenten Retreat

You can register and learn more here.