Lenten Nourishment: Spiritual Alienation
Sometimes we may feel estranged from God and suffering.
Thoughts to help and strengthen follow
Wednesday: Remember to breathe
I talk to myself quite a lot, and when things get stressful, I just tell myself to breathe. Maisie Williams
Stop, take 5 deep breaths and release each one slowly. At a minimum, you oxygenated your blood. Perhaps you’ve slowed down a bit, too.
Thursday: Call on God in times of trial
Our Father in heaven… And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13 The New Interpreter’s Study Bible (Study Bible)
The Lord suggested a form. Again, it may help you to return to yourself. (I prefer this translation.)
- Friday: Jesus knows being in anguish
- Jesus prays in the garden: He said, “Abba, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” Matthew 14:36 Study Bible.
- The Lord is with you in your anguish. He is compassionate since He suffered despair, too.
Saturday: Suffering can be transformed
He who learns must suffer. Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. Aeschylus
In April 1968, Robert Kennedy cane to Indianapolis to campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Just as he was to speak, he was told that Martin Luther King had been assassinated. He spoke to the gathered crowd, mostly African-American, from his own pain. His remarks included the quote above. Unlike other cities, Indianapolis did not dissolve into riots. Bobby Kennedy died of an assassin’s bullets some 2 months later.
Sunday: Say but the word and I shall be healed
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” Andy he said to him, “I will come and cure hi,” The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word and my servant will be healed. Matthew 8: 5-8
The phrase is part of the Roman Catholic Mass, right before communion. Jesus goes on to recognize the towering of the Roman Centurion
Monday: A clean heart, as soft heart has space for God
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
A clean heart has space for the grace of God. The Quaker testimonies call for simplicity. It starts in our hearts
Tuesday: Your turn
So, what’s your favorite quote or prayer?
“What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth.” Boris Pasternak. Have you experience the power of unarmed truth? I have. That’s the power or RFK’s speedh in the example above.