IN THE DAILY ROUND of life, dust and cobwebs accumulate in our souls. The hidden corners of our hearts become encrusted with grime or filled with forgotten debris. During the weeks of Lent, God's Spirit is given opportunity to clear away the clutter, sweep away the dust and wash us clean. We are invited to prepare ourselves heart, soul, mind and body for the new life of Easter.


WITHIN THE CHURCH at least, Lent's like Christmas: it's been overcommercialized. The "giving up [for Lent]" part is so dominant that what other meaning was there is eclipsed, hidden.


I GAVE UP coffee creamer for Lent one year. By the end of the tenth day, I began to love black coffee. That's the year I learned that it isn't giving up things that counts. Me? I became aware that only internal change really counts.


I AM CONVINCED that 99 percent of us are addicted to something, whether it is eating, shopping, blaming, or taking care of other people. The simplest definition of an addiction is anything we use to fill the empty place inside of us that belongs to God alone.


MAYBE LENT is a good time to stop doing and try being… . Relinquishment lies at the heart of the Christian gospel and is a countercultural choice that hones our discipleship. If I let go of the assumption that my hard work will bring me all that I desire, I begin to look at the present moment, receive it with gratitude, and know what it asks of me. I learn when it is time to rest, time to plan, time to play, time to wait, time to act boldly.


THEY WHO are conscious of their own sins have no eyes for the sins of their neighbors.


IF YOU therefore go to the desert to be rid of all the dreadful people and all the awful problems in your life, you will be wasting your time. You should go to the desert ...

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