Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Each year, as Lent comes, I am asked by interested people as to how they should organize their intentions and ambitions for the forty days. No two persons respond in the same way to Lent, and I am not going to try to prescribe a rigorous course of behaviour. Experience tells me, however, that what I propose works, and because it does I am eager to share it with you. Lenten work, for that is what it is, can be organized around three 'S's': Silence, Study, and Service.
The world is a noisy place, and even our small corner of it has more than its fair share of noise. Silence is therefore a rare and precious thing, particularly when we realize that silence is not simply the absence of sound but is also the presence of that which sound ordinarily obscures. For us, silence can be the place in which we both seek and experience the presence of God. I suggest that you secure for yourself fifteen minutes of absolute silence during at least one day each week in Lent, in which you do nothing at all - no mental correspondence, no organizing, not even high thinking. Find a space or place in which you can be alone, the bathroom or the bedroom will do, and clear your head. Some find it well to do this at the start of the day, getting up earlier than usual, and others at mid-day, foreshortening lunch, or right before evening begins. Do not schedule your silent time for bedtime: You will fall asleep, and although sleep is silent, it is not the silence of which we speak. I propose one day with a fifteen-minute silence, but once you try it you may crave more, and wonder how you got along without it.
Oh God, who has moved on the church to choose this holy season in which those who seek you may receive your help and healing: we ask you so to purify us by your discipline, that, abiding in you and you in us, we may grow in grace, faith and knowledge of you.
Urmas Sisask (1960- ) "Omnis Una guadeamus" [Let us all rejoice together] from Gloria Patri (1988). Eesti Projekt, dir Anne-Liis Treimann
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.