“Lent is a call to renew a commitment grown dull, perhaps, by a lifetime of routine rather than reflection.” - Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year
It is easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life. So much gets placed on our schedules and weighs on our hearts and minds that it is easy to go on auto-pilot just to get through the day. Yet, Lent affords us an opportunity to intentionally slow our pace and reflect. We encourage you to carve out space each day to reflect on your life and your relationship with Jesus. Take baby steps if reflection and contemplation are new to you. Even a simple 5 minute break from your routine is a great start. And if you need tracks to run on then you can begin by using St. Ignatius’ 5 steps of the Prayer of Examen as a guide (see below). Dan Wilt, refers to the Prayer of Examen as a “portable liturgy” - an order of worship that gives us tracks to run on.
Step 1: Gratitude
I note the gifts that God has given me and I give thanks for them.
Step 2: Petition
I ask God for an insight and strength so that my prayer is a work of grace, fruitful beyond my human capacity alone.
Step 3: Review
I look for the stirrings in my heart and the thoughts which God has given me this day. I look also for those which have not been of God. I review my choices in response to both, and throughout the day in general.
Step 4: Forgiveness:
I ask for forgiveness for my sins - the places where I missed the mark either in my thoughts or actions.
Step 5: Renewal
I look to the next day and, with God, plan concretely how to live it in accord with God’s loving desire for my life.