Why pause for Ash Wednesday, the gateway to Lent which climaxes in Good Friday and Easter 40 days from today? The following are three simple reasons: 1. Encountering God. Abram once entered the deep, terrifying darkness and encountered God there (Gen. 15). Moses wasn’t looking for a burning bush on the day he was summoned (Ex. 3). Jacob was trying to sleep when he wound up headlocked by an angel (Gen. 32). Ash Wednesday is positioning ourselves for such an encounter. 2. Rhythm. In our 24-7, non-stop world, God invites us to a rhythm – in our days (Offices), weeks (Sabbaths), and years (the church calendar). Unlike the world which centers its calendar to the school year or vacations, we anchor our lives in the Incarnation (Christmas) and the Resurrection (Easter). 3. Mortality. This day reminds us of that we created, limited beings. “Dust you are and to dust you shall return.” We. Read more.
“There is a mysterious attraction to interior silence in the depth of our beings. The attraction is like amagnet that draws us to silence.” Thomas Keating. The high point for Geri and I during our Sabbatical was a 10 day Post Intensive Prayer Retreat at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. We had dinner with a group of 23 people, introduced ourselves, and then entered the Grand Silence, one that would last the next 9 days. No talking. No eye contact. Geri and I had just spent a week in the desert of Colorado but this total immersion began to break something up in me that I am still not sure I can describe. It remains a bit inexplicable. Jesus told Peter: “When you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you. Read more.