“With deep devotion, Francis dwelt in the heavenly mansions in complete-emptying. He remained for long periods hidden spiritually in the wounds of the Crucified Christ. For this reason, he sought solitary places where he could cast his soul entirely upon God.” – Thomas Celano, Italian Friar, Poet and Author
The Lenten season begins Wednesday, March 6, 2019. And like Saint Francis of Assisi, I, too, will be seeking solitary places, fasting and praying ‘hidden spiritually’ in the wounds of my Crucified Christ.
What is God calling me to do?
What fire is calling me to put out? Doubt? Or is he stoking a fire within me?
Jesus: “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is unclouded, your whole body is full of light. But when your eye is evil, your body is full of darkness. 35 So be careful that the light in you isn’t darkness. 36 If your whole body is full of light and not darkness, it will be as bright as a lamp shining on you.” Luke 11:33-36
I will examine the Rev. Martin Luther’s “Two Kinds of Righteousness.” What kind of private Apostle am I? “The Apostle means that each individual Christian shall become the servant of another in accordance with the example of Christ.” ‘Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”’ Luke 23:34
Whatever God’s calling me to do
I know that what God may be calling me to do is grounded in Nehemiah’s prayer:
4 When I heard this, I sat down and cried. I mourned for days. I continued to fast and pray to the God of heaven. 5 I said, “LORD God of heaven, great and awe-inspiring God, you faithfully keep your promise [a] and show mercy to those who love you and obey your commandments. 6 Open your eyes and pay close attention with your ears to what I, your servant, am praying. I am praying to you day and night about your servants the Israelites. I confess the sins that we Israelites have committed against you as well as the sins that my father’s family and I have committed. 7 We have done you a great wrong. We haven’t obeyed the commandments, laws, or regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses. 8 Please remember what you told us through your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations. 9 But if you return to me and continue to obey my commandments, though your people may be driven to the most distant point on the horizon, I will come and get you from there and bring you to the place where I chose to put my name.’ 10 These are your servants and your people whom you have saved by your great power and your strong hand. 11 Lord, please pay attention to my prayer and to the prayers of all your other servants who want to worship your name. Please give me success today and make this man, King Artaxerxes, show me compassion.” Nehemiah 1:4-11
I continue to rebuild the walls of my life. I know God is asking me to bare all as Luther writes, “Therefore they put off the form of their own righteousness and put on the form of those others, praying for their persecutors, blessing those who curse, doing good to evil-doers, prepared to pay the penalty and make satisfaction for their very enemies that they may be saved. (Matthew 5:44). This is the gospel and the example of Christ.”
“You do what God as called you to do. You show up. You put one foot in front of the other. No matter how big the call. No matter how small. You have no idea what God is calling you to. But he needs you. He needs me. He needs all of us.” Father Mychal Judge, Franciscan Friar, Catholic Priest, and Chaplain to the New York City Fire Department.
My Lenten Prayer
Dear Lord, bring clarity to my confusion. Rescue me and bring rhythm to my calling just as you set the sun and the stars to motion in precise rhythm of day into night and night into day. Instill within me the patient endurance to enlighten me of my specific mission and to complete the mission with the wisdom and maturity through an unwavering faith in Christ. Grant me confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. Help me to watch with You in your passion, that I remain awake to the infinite power of Your Love. In Him, give me courage and strength. Amen.
May I ask for your prayers during this Lenten season?
My Spiritual Journey
The Prayer Journal’s blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.
Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!
I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.