“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”
–Book of Common Prayer, pg. 265
The invitation to a Holy Lent is a transformative transition in the church year. And it comes to us this year in a moment in which the pause for self-examination and prayer is sorely needed. Lent reminds us of the reality of evil, and the battle within our very souls between sin and life. It confronts us with our mortality and the mortality of all created beings.
I am distracted as I begin this Lent by checking on the latest news from Ukraine many times a day. Watching a people enter a fast not of their own choosing, where death and suffering and evil abide but are met with love and faith and strength. I am trying to ground myself in prayer: prayers for peace, prayers for safety, prayers for justice, prayers for leaders to act wisely and for the good of the people of the world. They are in a particular wilderness, and I pray that angels of all sorts may come to wait on them.
As we enter our own Lenten observance, I bid your prayers for them; and I bid your examination of your own heart and life and mind to find what is of God, and what is not; what brings life, and what points to death.