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.