Monday Morning Offering: 2/19

          Image: George Mendoza

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 burnt palm
but by my pledge 
to draw closer to you
in these forty holy days...
I'm looking not so much at how faithful I've been 
in drawing closer to you, Lord,
but rather 
how you've seized this moment
to draw closer to me...
And I'm wondering how open I've been
to your approach, your advance,
your reach and your touch
upon my mind, my heart and my life...
Surely you've seized the season
and my efforts to live these days more faithfully,
drawing closer to you as you invite me
to draw closer to you...

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

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

Have I felt your touch upon my spirit?
Have I heard you  voice calling me by  name?
Have I caught quick glimpses of your showing up  
here and there, now and then, in the course of my days?
Have I caught you keeping watch over me
through my anxious, sleepless nights?

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

This morning, Lord, I offer you 
my preoccupation with "doing Lent right"
when what I need is simply to be open 
to your holy presence on my right and my left, 
before, behind and all around me...
I offer you my mistaken effort
to be in charge of my Lenten practice,
how easily I forget, Lord, 
that the grace of this holy season is your initiative, 
not mine...

I offer you my attempts to orchestrate
what you plan to do in my heart
and my scheduling of how and when 
you'll accomplish what you have in mind...
Lord, no one knows me
better than you
and no one knows better than you
exactly what I need...
Help me to trust how you work in my heart this Lent:
in my mind, my imagination, my fears and my hopes....
Help me to see all the ways 
you disclose your holy presence
in those moments, times and places 
when I find you be my side,
my companion on the way...
And keep me faithful to the needs of others
whose paths cross mine, 
whose plight reveals the many ways
I might help, assist and serve them...
Keep me open to what you have planned this Lent
and surprise me, Lord, 
with the blessings and gifts you've prepared for me...

Make me ready to walk the way of the Cross,
the path that leads to the hope I hold
in you, in your wisdom, your word and your will... 

I offer you my heart this myLent, Lord,
to all you've prepared for me,
all the ways you've planned to draw me close
and for you to draw closer to me...





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