Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
"…if you … satisfy the needs of the afflicted …
you shall be like a spring of water, whose waters never fail." (Isaiah 58.10-11)
Making More of Less
Some will ask what good can come of so little time spent in Lenten work: fifteen minutes every other day of the week, a mere forty-five minutes out a whole week's time? If you feel ambitious you could try to extend the investment by doing the three exercises every day, or one on each day, or you could increase the fifteen minute suggested time, but I hasten to remind you that it is not the quantity of time but its regularity and quality that counts for work in Lent. It is better to succeed in little than to fail in much, and more Christians have been lost to the faith by attempting so much that they are destined to fail, unable to do anything. Spiritually, as in other matters, we must crawl before we walk, and walk before we run or leap. My counsel is to try the routine as proposed until at least mid-Lent, and then adjust it as you wish. The secret is in organizing in advance so that you can practice your Lenten discipline without being distracted by constantly having to think and plan. Make a calendar, produce a schedule, post it on the refrigerator door, and, above all, check off what you have done so that you can visualize your achievement. You would do nothing less than this to lose weight: Why not try at least this to enrich your soul?
During Lent share your progress and your reactions with anyone who will listen. I wish you well in the journey, and pray that this Lent will make a difference in your life as you move toward Easter.
O God, you are long-suffering and full of compassion: be present with us, we pray, as we enter Lent; we prepare to recall our Saviour's sufferings and to celebrate his triumph. Give us the help of your Holy Spirit as we acknowledge our sins and weakness and receive your forgiveness and strength.
Urmas Sisask (1960 - ) "Sanctus" [Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord] from Eesti Messe [Estonian Mass]. Op 36.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.