Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalism - Almsgiving

As a Roman Catholic Unitarian Univeralist I practice almsgiving all year around and especially during the Lent. What do you think about this spiritual practice? Do you engage in it too?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Should Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalists celebrate Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday this year, 2020, is on February 26th.

As an RCUU should you celebrate it? Will you celebrate it?

Ash Wednesday is the day we are reminded from Genesis 3:19 that from dust we have come, and to dust we shall return."  This idea is memorialized in the Stoic prase "Memento Mori" which translated from Latin into English means "remember you will die."

Ash Wednesday is the celebration of our mortality and a reminder to use our time here in this incarnation wisely. Memento Mori and Ash Wednesday can be invigorating and a reminder to live each day to the fullest with a sense of priority and urgency.

Ash Wednesday is intended as the beginning of the six week perior of Lent when we are encouraged to exercise enhance discipline to focus our attention on our purpose and mission to become our best selves and to serve others and our world.

Join us here at UU A Way Of Life this year as we prepare to celebrate Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

At Church on Sunday, 03/10/19, Reclaming Lent, Rev. Lane Campbell

As a Roamin Catholic Unitarian Universalist I was delighted this past Sunday, 03/10/19, to listen to the sermon by Rev. Lane Campbell at First Universalist Of Rochester, NY talk about "Reclaiming Lent."

As a student of A Course In Miracles as well as a Roamin Catholic Unitarian Univeralist, I understand Lent as a time of the year when we focus even more intently on shifting our perception from the path of the ego to the path of the Spirit. I think of this shift from the world of the ego to the world of the spirit as a shift from conditional love of the world  to unconditional love of the Divine.

Rev. Lane talks about reclaiming our spiritual roots of Universalism and this reclamation is a remembrance and celebration of the Universal love of the covenant which fascilitates an awareness of the holiness of human kind. Universal salvation is not something that requires waiting to achieve at death, but is something that is available to us here, right now, if we embrace the Divine spark in each of us which acknowledges the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

This embracing of the Divine Spark in every person requires the giving up of our attachments to what A Course In Miracles calls "special relationships" which are based on the principles of "give to get" and "one or the other" and manifest Unconditional love for the World of the Divine.

Lent is not so much a time of deprivation and giving up as a shift from the world of the ego to the world of the Divine and in this shift we find our salvation and heavenly peace.

To watch Rev. Lane Campbell's whole sermon click here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday, Lent, and a Roamin Catholic Unitarian Universalist

As a Roamin Catholic Unitarian Universalist I celebrate Ash Wednesday and Lent.

Lent is the six week period before Easter which reminds us of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert purifying His Spirit.

We can all use a little purification from the path of the ego which has ensnared us. Right?

Ash Wednesday is the day that ashes are placed on our foreheads with the words, "Remember thou art dust and to dust though shalt return."

Lent is a period of prayer, fasting, and repentence. It is a period when we intentionally remind ourselves and acknowledge that there is a better way. Living our lives on the path of the ego is full of anguish and suffering, and to shift to the path of the spirit is life giving and one of peace.

The basic point of lent is to intentionally recognize, acknowledge, and practice the giving up of the idols of the ego and to turn to the things of the spirit.

As a child, we were instructed "To give something up for Lent." We also were suppose to fast, and on Ash Wednesday, and Fridays give up meat. As kids we would joke with each other about what we were giving up for lent like candy, going to the movies, and doing extra chores or favors for other people.

Now, as  a Unitarian Universalist, I still practice some of my old Roamin Catholic ways and this lent I am reminded of the Unconditional Love of God and my need to constantly remind myself of that and give up judgment and conditional love.

So this lent I will more intentionally give up my judgmental ways and my tendency to attack things and people that seem stupid to me. This lent I am going to try to love the Trumpists. I may not agree with all their beliefs and values but as the Christians say, "Love the sinner not the sin."

Giving up my close minded tendencies will take some effort and I will just listen and as Jesus suggested, "Love my enemies."

Moving from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit is manifested in a greater sense of peace.

May the peace of the Lord be with you and have a happy Lent.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sixth Sunday of Lent - Palm Sunday - walking the talk

The sixth week of Lent begins with Palm Sunday which initiates Holy Week.

Palm Sunday is the triumphant celebration on the path of the ego wherein Jesus is acclaimed by the multitudes but it doesn't last long because within five days they will turn on Him and tell Pilate to release Barabas and execute Him.

The mob is fickle and can turn on a dime. Social status, the role of the celebrity, is an ephemeral thing which is counterfeit. It has no substance. It is for entertainment and amusement only.

The dark side of power also is a fearful thing which requires understanding, faithfulness, and Love to overcome.

Jesus set it up for people to acknowledge that He was bringing an important message to the world. The mob acclaimed and celebrated Him and then killed Him.

After He came into Jerusalem on a donkey to some applause and celebration,  He went to the temple and threw out the money changers and pissed off the religious leaders who ran the temple.

It was then that the religious leaders of the day decided Jesus had rocked the boat enough and they wanted him eliminated. His challenges to their hypocrisy and legalism was too much for them. Jesus had chosen the path of the spirit not the path of the ego and the guardians of the path of the ego saw Him as a threat to their religious ways.

When it comes to traveling the path of the spirit, religion can be an obstacle. Religion can not only block one's journey, but actually attack the traveler who would dare question religious power and control.

This final week of Lent teaches some difficult and powerful lessons, the main one of which is that the path of the ego can unleash viscous attacks when it is threatened. Jesus is faithful to His Walk With Love on the path of the spirit. He rises above the fears of the attacks on the path of the ego and prevails on the path of the spirit in the Walk With Love and we still tell this story 2,000 years later.

Later this week, on Thursday we will celebrate the Last Supper. On Good Friday, we will witness Jesus' execution. On Holy Saturday, we mourn His death and wonder what will happen next. On Easter Sunday, we will learn of the resurrection of Jesus' spirit and we are filled with hope and Love for humanity.

We are grateful to Jesus for showing us the way. He demonstrated to us that there is a better way than the path of the ego. He preached about and manifested His life on the path of the spirit. Jesus told his disciples simply that the way to the Kingdom is to "love as I have loved."

Jesus manifested the Love of which He spoke. He was in Love with Life and that Love still radiates throughout the world over 2,000 years later.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Fifth week of Lent, the season of generosity

As we begin the fifth week of Lent, we reflect again on the meaning of the tradition.

Lent has been a time of penitence, of giving things up to make one more aware of our love of idols and our need to focus with intention on the path of the spirit.

Lent, is a season of remembrance of Jesus' forty days in the desert where He went in retreat to spend time with God prior to His trial and execution where He would demonstrate for all the world to see for thousands of years that the path of the spirit is to be valued above the path of the ego.

Jesus, after all, refused to sell His soul to the devil. What a guy! A true Super Hero who conquered His ego for the benefit of humanity.

What stands out as a possible lesson from this story is the tremendous generosity manifested by Jesus.

Lama Surya Das in his book, "Buddha Is As Buddha Does" describes the ten paramitas or tranformational practices of the Bodhisattva or seeker. The first paramitas that Lama Surya Das describes is generosity. Here is what Surya Das writes, "True generosity is giving everything you have to the moment, and is the way of nonattachment."

The core of the celebration of Lent is not deprivation and sacrifice but rather generosity which is a liberation from our attachments. It is a cleansing, a purification, which brings the joy of liberation and often a feeling of tremendous peace and joy.

The hallmark of a Lent, well celebrated, is the opening up of the heart and mind with the spirit of generosity, and generosity requires sharing and giving of what one has: time, talent, and treasure to the benefit of the world.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fourth week of Lent. "If God is with me who can be against me?"

It is written in Luke 4:
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
    and him only shall you serve.’”
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to guard you,’
11 and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Here we are in the fourth week of Lent and as we are purifying our hearts and minds we consider the temptations that Jesus was challenged by.
Jesus was hungry and the devil mocks Him and tells him to turn the stones in bread. And Jesus, to be blunt, tells the devil to fuck off. As Jesus tells the devil to fuck off he laughs kind heartedly and says, "You dumb bastard, don't you know that there are more important things in life than food? Whoppers, Big Macs, a Dave's special mushroom, swiss, bacon burger don't do it for me. I am hungering after bigger and better things."
So the devil says, "Make a YouTube video and I will see to it that it goes viral and you will have all the fame and fortune of Donald Trump." And Jesus says to the devil, " I don't give a shit about the fame and fortune of Donald Trump. In order to achieve that I would have to lie, and cheat, and steal, and fill people with fears of each other and even if I could become President of the United States and be known all over the world, I would not sell my soul to you to have such a thing. It would be my idea of hell to be caught in such a web of surveillance and political expectations.
So the devil says to Jesus, "Why don't you do something really stupid like jump off the Golden Gate bridge at noon and instead of killing yourself, you will fly like a bird and people will be utterly amazed at your Super Power abilities and they will make comic books, and movies, and toys depicting you for children to play with for 7 generations." And Jesus says to the devil, "You're kidding me, right? I know that God loves me unconditionally and when God is with me and I am with God who can be against me? Bringing my will into alignment with God's will for me gives me all the super powers I, or anyone, will ever need."
And the devil gave up on tempting Jesus. The devil could see that Jesus no longer was walking on the path of the ego, but had embarked on the path of the spirit and that was a road the devil didn't want to go down.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Third week of Lent. Getting heaven into people.

This third week of Lent we give up our idols on the path of the ego and move forward on the path of the spirit.

Will money make us happy? Sex? Power? Fame? Winning? Playing the victim and obtaining sympathy from others? Being right?

There are so many worldly concerns we have to give up, we have to purify ourselves from, we have to become detached from, we have to say good-bye to if we are to become truly happy.

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich many to get into heaven," Jesus tells us.

"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," Lord Acton observed.

"Beauty is only skin deep," my mother told me.

"You're so vain," Carly Simon sang, "you probably think this song is about you."

"It's true, if we say it's true," Vice President Dick Cheney told the country back in W's administration.

"It's not what's said, it's who says it," my boss told me.

At Lent, it dawns on us once again that there has to be a better way. We start to eschew the nonsense. We start to say "no" to the idols of the world, and "yes," to love, hope, peace, and justice.

Unitarian Universalists should know the meaning of Lent more than anyone on the planet because they realized and promoted the idea of God sharing Unconditional Love. UUs realized that the idols of creeds do not get people into heaven. UUs realized that Love gets heaven into people.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Second week of lent - Give up you narcissistic preoccupations and listen

How are you doing with your Lenten resolutions? How's it going with your desire to leave the path of the ego and journey on the path of the spirit?

Jesus left the path of the ego for 40 days in the desert to spend more time communing with the Divine. I hope you are doing better than I am. I start my days with the Divine and end my days with the Divine but in the middle I forget. Sometimes I remember, especially when I have to make a decision about something hard like what to say to a person in anguish.

Actually, leaning in to be there for a person in anguish is easier for me than to just pay attention to someone who wants my attention for some matter than is important to them, but means very little or nothing to me.

At such times, I hear Jesus whisper in my ear, "What would Love have you do?" and with this prompt I pay attention to my brother or sister even when it takes effort.

Lent is about giving something up. Lent is about eschewing the path of the ego so we can continue our journey on the path of the spirit. So, in such moments, when other people want my attention, I give up my own preoccupations and concerns and desires and just listen.

Listening takes discipline. It takes self control. It often is not an easy thing to do. To give another person or a group of people your undivided attention is a precious gift.

Jesus said, where two or more our gathered in my name, there I will be.

I have recently learned that my body is NOT the temple of the Holy Spirit, but my relationships with others. The Holy Spirit is in the relationships which I enter into with others, not within the boundaries of my physical body. With this new found awareness, I understand better what Jesus was saying about His being there when two or more are gathered in His name.

So this Lent I am learning how to give up my narcissism and to deeply listen to others no matter how trivial their concerns seem to me to be. This practice while difficult has given me an increased sense of peace and well being.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

First week of Lent - Let's give up our guns

We begin the first full week of Lent grieving for the loss of students and faculty in Parkland FL.

The United States has more gun deaths than any country in the world because of the idolization of the gun. There are 300 million guns in the United States and Americans think that they will keep them safe. From what is a question that people answer in different ways not knowing that having a gun makes them less safe, not more, from dying from a gun related incident.

The very first commandment which Christians believe came from God to Moses is "I am the Lord thy God. Thou shall not have  any strange gods before me."

While the United States' biggest religion is Christianity, most Christians do not follow the first commandment but have worshiped and idolized guns. The politicians genuflect before the NRA and refuse to ask their constituents to repent and the wages of sin, the turning from God to the gun as a god of safety, reaps the deaths of their children in the schools and concerts in their midst.

According to The Guardian: “Since 1968…there have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths on US territory. Since the founding of the United States, there have been 1,396,733 war deaths.

If it were not so sad, it could be considered funny, this insanity. We are literally killing ourselves because of our idolatry.

Lent is a time to reconsider. Could we give up our guns this Lent? Would it make our world safer and more peaceful and healthier? You bet. Let's turn to God and away from guns.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This year Roman Catholic UUs will chuckle their way through Lent

Today, February 14, 2018 is Ash Wednesday as well as Valentine's Day. We, Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalists find this day especially delightful because this first day of Lent coincides with this celebration of romantic love.

A day usually reserved for penitential remembrance that we art dust and dust we shall return is overlapped with Eros. How's that for absurdity, incongruity, and humor? While you are chuckling, notice that Easter Sunday this year is also on April 1st, traditionally celebrated as April Fool's day.

As St. Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians, we followers of Jesus are God's misfits, we are fools for Christ.

The best way to celebrate Lent is with a huge sense of humor as we turn further from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit. This turning requires a giving up, a letting go, a moving away from worldly cares and concerns. We become so much in love and get so excited we forget to eat, our food doesn't mean much to us any more because it is not the pleasure it once was when we have more peaceful things to pursue.

Lent is not so much about giving up but a moving toward Love and therefore a moving away from things of the ego. We focus on things of peace and bliss, and the things of the world are seen as a distraction and maybe even an imposition which becomes an obstacle to the road that we are desiring to travel.

Unitarian Universalist know that God loves us unconditionally and awaits our union with God to extend Love into the world. Lent is about eschewing what would hamper us, constrain us, impede our movement to the divine.

For 40 days Jesus went into a remote area to find solitude and fast so He could spend relaxing time with God. During Lent we emulate Jesus' example as best we are able given our circumstances. Few of us have the resources to be able to go on retreat for 40 days physically, but we can go on retreat mentally by separating ourselves from worldly distractions, annoyances, intrusions as best we are able. We just want some more alone time with the divine in solitude and with similarly minded others.

There are many Roman Catholic UUs and we can bring the richness of our faith tradition to the attention of others who also would enjoy and benefit from our fellowship and practice. As these 40 days pass, UUAWOL will offer some further reflections on the precious treasures of the season.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Lent is coming.

As a Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalist I am excited about the fact that Lent is coming. Ash Wednesday is next Wednesday, 02/14/18, the same day as Valentine's Day. Is that a coincidence or a special message to remind us that the Lenten season is a time of Love when we turn our attention to Love and purify our hearts and minds from the works of the ego.

Here on UUAWOL there will be a special series of posts during Lent. We hope you will join us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How's lent going?

How is lent going? It's been a week, right?

Yes, Lent started last Wednesday which is a week ago today. It's on my mind every day, but I can't say that I've come up with a good way to celebrate it every day. I think of the interdependent web and how I can enhance it and I do do many things like feed the feral cats that live under my barn. They seem to appreciate it because they come running when I put the food and water out, but I notice one is pregnant again and I am left wondering if I am helping or just enabling a bad situation.

Feeding the cats is silly isn't it? Hardly what one might consider a spiritual practice, but then again I gave twenty bucks a piece to two college students who spent 15 minutes helping me get my car unstuck from the snow. They tried to beg off saying "you don't have to give us anything" but when I insisted they took it without any further resistance. I was a college student once, and twenty bucks might go a long way for these two good Samaritans.

I suppose there are other things too if I were pressed that I have done over the week, but I would do them anyway Lent or not.

Any way it continues to be on mind. I am mindful which is all the rage now.

What's going on for you?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Would we welcome the baby, Jesus, into our community?

Pax Christi USA has developed a tool kit to be used during lent on immigration reform. For those of us with a Christian backround we are well aware that Jesus and his father, Joseph, and his mother, Mary, were immigrants who fled from Israel to Egypt.

Herod, in his paranoia, had all the 2 year old children in the region under his domain killed. The United States has faced its own dilemma recently with what to do with immigrant children. There was a proposal in my own home town, Brockport, NY, to develop a former Walmart Store for residential care for these immigrant children which would be funded by the Federal government, but many local people opposed it, including our Congressman Chris Collins, and these children were sent away as they were not welcome in our town. Brockporters would have sent Jesus away and that is very sad. We have forgotten that we are one family under God. May we remember this Lent, repent, and change our attitudes and ways.

Matthew 2:13-23

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise,
take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search
for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for
Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet
might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the
massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the
time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.”

When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and
said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s
life are dead.” He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he
heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back
there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went
and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be
fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Today is Ash Wednesday

By Joan Chittister, osb

Jesus' words make short shrift of public wrestling with inner goodness. "When you give alms, keep it a secret. When you pray, do it quietly. When you fast, don't look wan." The religion of Jesus, in other words, is not a religion of show. It is not a religion aimed at public approval. It is not even religion intent on the kind of pious exercise that is called witness. No, Jesus' words make Lent a way of life, rather than a ritual.

The message of Lent is clear: Alms are for self-giving; prayer is for personal growth in the mind of God; fasting is for self-discipline. What you get out of this kind of religion is not simply a change of liturgical cycles. What you get out of this kind of religion is a change of person. But when the person is changed then other actions will show it, and not all of them will be called "religious" by establishment types....

Editor's note:

I don't know how many UUs celebrate Lent and Ash Wednesday, but as a former Roman Catholic, I do. I suspect there are many UUs with a Christian background who also celebrate Lent especially those with more affinity for the Universalist side of the family. The Universalists believed fervently that God is love. The lenten practices are intended to make us more aware so that we will choose the good rather than continue to be distracted by the dramas and ego nonsense of every day life. We give alms and help others because it makes us and them feel good. We pray most often to give thanks because we are grateful and acknowledge the interdependent web of which we are a part. We fast because it alters our consciousness and makes us more alert and we learn to tolerate minor suffering with good cheer.

Jesus constantly reminded us that we are not of this world. He said to be IN the world but not OF the world. The Buddha talk us that the way to peace and to avoid suffering is not to become attached and to recognize the impermanence of life.

The overall message of lent is to remind us to love one another as we Universalists believe God loves us.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What are you doing for lent?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning in the Christian Calendar of Lent. Lent is a period of recollection, intensive pensive awareness about the meaning of life. In the Roman Catholic tradition it was a period of voluntary penance, giving something up, and fasting. There is nothing sacred about the ascetic practices of self deprivation in and of themselves, but rather as a means of altering our consciousnesses so we can be aware of ourselves and our place in the Universe. Lent is a time of giving up our hubris and practicing humility and recognizing that we are only a small part of the interdependent web.

Lent can be a time in our Unitarian Universalist tradition of practicing the seventh principle by making small sacrifices for the sake of other living things and our planet as a way of acknowledging our interdependence. Lent is a time for making ourselves small so that we can open space for other human beings and other things which make up the web of life.

If you would, will you share your intentional Lenten practice this year with us on UUAWOL by leaving a comment about what you are intentionally doing to remind yourself and maybe others of our interdependence?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What do you really want?

Today is Ash Wednesday. As a Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalist this day has special meaning for me because it reminds me that I am mortal, will die, and am not just a body and an ego. It says in A Course In Miracles:

"The ego cannot oppose the laws of God any more than you can, but it can interpret them according to what it wants, just as you can. 2 That is why the question, "What do you want?" must be answered. 3 You are answering it every minute and every second, and each moment of decision is a judgment that is anything but ineffectual. 4 Its effects will follow automatically until the decision is changed." T - 6.V.6.1-4

At this time of Lent we fast and we give things up to help us become more aware, more conscious, more alert to what it is that we really want.

Rev. Marlin Lavanhar preached the sermon on 02/05/12 entitled "Love Your Enemies?" and he describes the behavior of African Americans as they fought non-violently for their civil rights and in doing so set an example for the rest of the world in how to love your enemies as Jesus told us to do.

We Unitarian Universalists covenant and affirm the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This principle encourages us to become more aware, more conscious, more understanding and we can only do this if we can set our egos aside. The season of Lent encourages us to do this with focused discipline and purpose. It helps us focus on what we really want.

The Course teaches as Jesus did that the goal is the Atonement, the At-One-Ment when everyone loves everyone all the time. Loving those who love us is easy. It is loving those who don't love us or even hate us that takes forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and understanding.

Have you forgiven an enemy? What led to your doing that? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can I enter into Lent in an open hearted way?

Brother James Dowd has an informative article on the meaning of Lent in PeaceSigns magazine this month. Here is what he writes in part:

The place to start is given to us by the Prophet Joel, from which the first reading at the Eucharist for Ash Wednesday is taken. "Yet even now says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing." (2:12-13). A God filled with vengeance and intent on punishment is not a God, in my opinion, who invites his people to return with all their hearts. Yes, perhaps fasting and other types of penitence are called for. But what is to be remembered is not the outward ritualistic signs--rending garments--but rather the inner conversion that we are all called to--rending hearts--in order to choose the Lord of Life as our guide, our light, our love, and our life. For in the end, the Christian story is really about God having chosen us to be part of his Life, his Body.

What Lent is about is not self denial and closing our hearts, but about opening up our hearts in selflessness to God and God's creation. Tough thing to do when we are biologically programmed to be self serving and self protecting.

You can read Brother Dowd's article by clicking here.
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