Monday Morning Offering - 36

Image: George Mendoza

For nine months I've been posting a weekly Monday Morning Offering, a feature on my blog which draws many readers. So, with the hope that those who have come here for the daily Lenten prayer series might continue to return on Mondays after Easter, the regular Monday Morning Offering stands today as the Daily Lenten Prayer for Monday of the First Week of Lent.

Good morning, good God!

So, my ashes have been gone nearly five days now
and what remains is the place in my heart
signed not by burned palm
but by my pledge to draw closer to you
in these forty holy days...

I'm not so much looking
at how faithful I've been in my moving towards you, Lord,
but rather I'm aware that you have seized this moment
to draw closer to me and I'm wondering
if I have been open to your approach, your advance
upon my heart and my life...

Surely you have seized the season
and my efforts to live these days faithfully,
drawing closer to you,
inviting you to draw closer to me...

Have I noticed the ways
you've stepped closer to my side?

Have I any awareness
of your desire to make yourself known to me?

Have I felt your touch upon my spirit?
Have I heard your voice calling my name?
Have I caught even quick glimpses
of your showing up in the course of my days,
of your keeping watch over me through the nights?

Have I been so worried about my Lenten exercises
that I've failed to see how you've taken the lead
in renewing and refreshing your friendship with me?

I offer you my preoccupation with "doing Lent right"
when what I need is simply to be open to your presence
on my right and my left, behind me and before me...

I offer you my mistaken efforts
to be in charge of my Lenten practice :
I've easily forget, Lord, that the grace of this season
is your initiative, not mine...

I offer you my attempts to plan what you will do in my heart
and my scheduling of how and when you should accomplish it...

Lord, no one knows me better than you
and no one knows better than you
what I need...

Help me to trust that you are working in my heart this Lent,
and in my mind, in my imagination, in my fears and hopes....

Help me to see the ways you disclose your presence to me,
the moments when you show up along my path
and choose to walk my my side...

And keep me faithful to the needs of others, Lord,
whose paths cross mine and whose needs reveal
the many ways in which I might serve them...

Keep me open to what you have planned for me this Lent, Lord,
and surprise me with the gifts you have prepared for me...

Lord, ready me to walk the way of the Cross in these holy days,
the path that leads to every hope I hold
and opens for me the way to all you hold in store for my life...

One day at a time this Lent, Lord:
you and me, with the Church,
in the grace of your Holy Spirit...
- Heart image by Gwen Mehorg
- Coffee image by George Mendoza

-ConcordPastor Monday Moring Offering - XXXVI

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