Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lenten Quote of the Day

Lenten Quote for the Day
There remains an experience of incomparable value ... to see the great events of world history from below; from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled -- in short, from the perspective of those who suffer ... to look with new eyes on matters great and small. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
Letters and Papers from Prison

It is a mildly cool day and the sunshine promises to burst forth robustly here in Northern California. Tonight I will set my clocks forward as LED confirmation that spring has arrived, but for the moment I am reminded of the change in seasons by the fact that it is Lent.

Every Lent season for the past 15 years or so I have taken the practice of discipline increasingly seriously. As a Reformed Christian, it's hard to get my mind wrapped around the practice of penance, so for me it isn't about that. Instead, I value adopting particular practices in a disciplined manner such as daily journaling or modifications to my diet. I have learned that my overall sense of spiritual wholeness is enhanced, perhaps, by the idea that I am opening the window for the Divine to work on my spiritual gifts of patience and self-discipline. (I'm all for aiding and abetting the Holy Spirit.)

One practice I have continued to follow for the last couple of years, having found it to be particularly nourishing and window-opening, is the practice of reading scripture each morning. Following the Common Lectionary, I read two psalms, a passage from the Hebrew Bible, an excerpt from one of the epistles, and finally the gospel message for the day.

Today in the light of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's observation from prison, I read the scriptures differently. I marvelled that one of the things I worried about yesterday was the fact that Citicorp's stock price fell below the amount they charge for an ATM transaction.

A window opened, and I discovered that it is Spring.


DCC arts said...

I,too, start my day by reading my Bible. Sometimes it leads to a piece of art or a short poem. Today I read in Psalm 22: From You comes the theme of my praise.
The emergence of sun and flowers after a week of rain is a good way to start my praise for today.

Ellen said...

Thank you for leading me to your blog, Dori. It was very helpful to me today, since I hadn't permitted the sunshine to permeate some stuff in my life I find hard to go around.

Keep up your good works.