Lenten Friday Quickie Quote

Here’s something for our minds (& hearts) to munch on this Lenten Friday:

“The call to ‘do penance’ is based not on the fact that penance will keep us trim, but on the fact that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.’  Our penance – metanoia – is our response to the proclamation of the Gospel message, the Kerygma which announces our salvation if we will hear God and harden not our hearts.  The function of penance and self-denial is then contrition, or the breaking up of that hardness of heart which prevents us from understanding God’s command to love and from obeying it effectively.” 

Thomas Merton (from Seasons of Celebration)

Penance can be a scary word when we know we can’t ‘earn our way’ into Heaven.  But self denial is a way to draw closer to God.   I am the world’s worst ‘faster,’ especially when low-blood sugar usually gives me a bad case of the grumps.  Lenten Friday fasting thus becomes quite challenging (how to spread out ‘one small meal’ to first, not faint, then 2nd, to keep to the spirit of self-denial?)  All this said, i like this quote. It zinged today – whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, do it unto the Lord.  (St. Paul said that!)

….& let our fasting lead us to loved-based contrition (& NOT the grumps!)

Christmas dinner Jerusalem (2)grace, peace & grumps-busters


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3 Responses to Lenten Friday Quickie Quote

  1. Cindy Kranich says:

    Insightful re’ Lent … was that pic of your apartment in Bethlehem! Just curious.

    • Virginia says:

      Actually it was the staff Christmas party my 1st year (the little apt you & Mark visited in East Jerusalem — it was hard squishing everyone in! my ‘table’ was in the hall way!)
      grace, peace & Lenten hugs – gL

  2. Cindy Kranich says:

    I remember it well near Damascus Gate…boy, that takes us back! Very cozy and charming place. I’ll never forget our few days with you as you showed us WV projects in Palestine. I was so proud of my little sister! 🙂

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