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Here on the Threshold of Lent
Hello Prayer Bench friends,
Lent is coming.
And the world needs ordinary mystics and lovers more than ever.
Here is what’s in this edition:
An offering of a word as we near Ash Wednesday.
A Spiritual Practice on opening our heart.
A reminder of Prayer Bench Resources that might be helpful as you journey this particular Lent.
A Free Lent Calendar: 40 Gestures Supporting Mindfulness & Presence (if you haven’t received it yet.)
Poetry & Prayer
An Offering of Words: Turning Well
I love when I find an old word that throws light on what I am thinking. So, here is a word for our consideration this week: EUTRAPELIA, (yoo-trap-el-ee’-ah)
The word is from the Greek, and is an old, neglected human virtue identified by Aristotle. It derives from eutrepo, ‘to turn well.’
Aristole named it as a golden mean between ‘boorishness and buffoonery.’ Thomas Aquinas described eutrapelia as ‘gracious flexibility of soul.’ Tilden Edwards says it frees a quality of the image of God in us; a quality of joy that expresses God’s loving.
To turn well. These are good words for us to absorb as we come to Ash Wednesday.
Lent is coming.
We turn well finding ways of restoring our resiliency and sense of enough-ness.
We turn well gathering our strength so we can be expressions of God’s Love in our world.
We turn well looking at the ground we are standing upon, making practices of hope and kindness.
Eutrapelia invites us to turn well into Lent with a deep longing for the mystery of Joy that is here and still coming.
Spiritual Practice Visio Divina (Sacred Seeing)
Where are your eyes drawn?
Is there a place in this photo that breaks open your heart?
What is pouring in? What is releasing?
What invitation is present for you on this threshold of Lent?
Lent Resources from the Prayer Bench
We live with many tensions in our lives. We are ‘crazy busy’ and longing for rest. We are full of fear and longing for courage. We are hurt and longing for forgiveness. We are sad and aching for greater shades of peace. We have more than we need and want more simplicity. We feel our brokenness and crave wholeness. Our world cries out and we want to hide.
I invite you take a look at these Prayer Bench Resources and see if any resonate for you and might support you this Lent.
This five-week Lent Small Group Study weaves the saga of Joseph with the journey of Jesus and invites our response to the themes raised. It is written by the Rev. Dr. Hugh Farquhar with process designed by Janice MacLean. This is an evocative reflection related to real life themes.
Here are suggested ways to use this resource.
Small Group Study
Personal Reflection and Study
Basis for Worship Series during Lent
Lent offers a season of reflection. We make our journey applying our hearts to wisdom through a Lent Email retreat, delivered in two parts, plus daily Holy Week prayers and meditations. you receive the first email retreat on Ash Wednesday, the second on March 26, and daily prayers from Palm Sunday to Easter. (Prayer Bench Group & Personal Subscribers receive this resource.)
Free Lent Calendar
Here is a Lent Calendar for you to use.
You can also get it from this Prayer Bench Post too. Visit Lent Calendar 2022
Poetry & Prayer
Be present and settled in your body. Read slowly.
As love grows and expands in the soul,
it rises eagerly to God
toward the Glory
which bends toward it.
Then Love melts through the soul
into the senses,
so that the body too might share in it,
into all things. - Mechtild of Magdeburg
Make space for prayers praying in you
We journey on, ordinary mystics, in prayer and love.
Host of the Prayer Bench
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