Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten Leadership

The ancient Christian practice of Lent has been described at times as a period to confront what is false within us - the false self - with the light and power of the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Thomas Keating has called it a period of Divine Therapy where the false self is confronted by the light of God and transformed into the likeness of God' Son by His Holy Spirit.

Christine Sine at Mustard Seed House has put together a wonderfully inspirational and moving guide to Lent. She writes: "Our Lenten journey begins with an invitation to lay down all the inner burdens of self-centeredness, indifference and greed that distract us from a whole-hearted commitment to God. We come to the cross for forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. Only then can we experience the full joy of Easter morning and be resurrected into the new life that God intends for us, a life in which all that we do and all that we commit our time and our resources to is truly governed by our love for God and our love for neighbors around the world."

May this be a time that we as aspiring leaders/servants rediscover the power of God's truth to confront, deliver and transform.

A Prayer for Lent, by Henri Nouwen

"How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting, and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death?

Yes, Lord, I have to die—with you, through you, and in you—and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess.... I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it.

O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen."

Nouwen, Henri (2002). A Cry for Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee. Image Books.