Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Time to Turn to God

(Note- I'm using Lent and Easter Wisdom from Thomas Merton as my Lenten devotional this year. I'll be blogging the journaling prompts most days.)

All the faithful should listen to the word as it is announced in the liturgy or in Bible services and respond according to their ability. In this way, for the whole church, Lent will not be merely a season simply of a few formalized penitential practices, half-understood and undertaken without interest, but a time of metanoia, the turning of all minds and hearts to God in preparation of the Paschal Mystery in which some will for the first time receive the light of Christ, others will be restored to the communion of the faithful, and all will renew their baptismal consecration of their lives to God in Christ. ~Seasons of Celebration, p. 114

What word or phrase- a mantra, like "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me"- as you pass over these last days toward Easter?

I find it very meaningful to use the phrase, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" as a breath prayer (repeated over and over in my mind while breathing in and out), because saying along with the rhythm of breathing reminds me that continually seeking God's grace and mercy is the rhythm of the life of a Christian.

But this question made me think of something else today. Forty four years ago today, in Memphis, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed while in town supporting a sanitation worker's strike. The night before, he preached an eerily prophetic final sermon.

So, to paraphrase Dr. King, the mantra that comes to my mind today is "we will get there". I get so easily discouraged when I turn on the news or talk to people who seem convinced that there are not enough resources for all people to have a full, healthy life, that destructive wars are inevitable, or that people will never change.

So as I am preparing to proclaim the good news of the Resurrection on Easter morning, I have to keep repeating "we will get there" so I can preach it with this kind of conviction.

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