The Monastic Mirror


Thursday, March 10, 2011

GOT DIRT? a reflection on Lent

Chapter 49 of the Rule of Saint Benedict is an entire chapter dedicated to "The Observance of Lent".
   The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent.  Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times.  

Our community as a whole has decided to keep silence on Ash Wednesday, and all Fridays during this holy season, along with various other practices.  As I sat an meditated on this holy season...I was struck by the words....wash away.  I thought how descriptive was the putting on of ashes on our foreheads to remind us of the "dirt" we have accumulated this past year.  Lent is a time to take stock of our lives, evaluate what we need to wash away to get closer to God.
The more I prayed on this I was struck by how the chains and imprisonment that these simple negligences separate us from God's love.  We become lax in our manner of living.  So yesterday when I saw the cross of ashes on each forehead....I ask myself....."GOT DIRT?"...the answer was "YES"   It is the dirt that I want to wash away during this season of Lent with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  This is a special time for all of us to take a deep look at ourselves and cleanse away the gunk that turns us hard, soft or indifferent.....use this time to evaluate and work on your relationship these next 40 days.....focus on your DIRT....make an effort to is never easy...but always worth it....God Bless your Lent!

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