From the Pastor's Pen - Lent is here.
Here we are already—It seems like Lent has crept up quickly, and this year it is a bit early. How is the date for Easter set? Since many folks enjoyed this last year, here goes: 1st Sunday After the 1st full moon After March 21st . The first full moon after the Spring Equinox, March 21, is March 31. So Easter is April 1, with the Holy Week feasts just before that. Why this formula? Because the full moon, along with the Equinox, brings the earth to life more fully—things bloom, the ground warms, tress come to life. The word “Lent” is an old English word for “Springtime”, so it didn’t at least originally have such a dark tone as we may think of. That’s our goal: to be coming awake and alive now, so we’re more fully in the light of Christ at Easter. Remember that a classic Lent has 3 elements: Sacrifice (What are you giving up); Prayer (the simpler, the better; instead of continually talking to God, can you quietly listen for awhile?) and Almsgiving, (charity to the poor). It’s incomplete to make it just a test of our will power; the other two elements bring us closer to God, and to other people. So use “giving up” something arbitrary, to train your will. Then fast from what harms you, and others: harsh words, neglect, insensitivity, carelessness in words or actions.
This year, I’m happy to present Evenings of Recollection on Wed. Feb 21 and 28. I’ve presented this as a Day of Recollection at a parish and two retreat centers. Called ‘Discovering Your Inner Treasure Chamber”, this brings the longstanding tradition teaching of the Church on the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in each of us, to modern awareness. Would you like to go through each day with a peace-giving, confident sense that God is always with you? Come to these sessions. Then we’ll share the Ecumenical Services we’ve typically done with nearby churches, on the last 3 Wednesdays of Lent. Lots of opportunity for a renewal of your life!