Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the Lenten season. This would also be why you may have seen some passersby donning black smudges on their foreheads. I view Lent from a Catholic viewpoint, but I know that there are several other religions and denominations that participate in Lent.
Image by Oliver Tucker
Lent was always one of my favorite parts about Catholicism. Even though it is one of the darkest parts of the faith, it has always been one of the most beautiful parts to me.
Lent is all about recognizing the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, so usually during this season, you are encouraged to give up something that is interfering with your relationship with Christ. I am a woman of many vices and some of them I’m just not willing to give up for 40 days (read: Diet Coke). Not that I wouldn’t be able to go without soda for our Lord and Savior; I just don’t see how that is interfering with my faith.
So, in lieu of giving up something so important to my very being, I end up adding something to my life that will bring me closer to Him. In the past, I added extra prayer or only listened to Christian music or attempted to attend daily mass.
This year is a little different. My relationship with God is not as strong as it used to be. In fact, I was very surprised to find myself at mass yesterday completely of my own will. But as I mentioned in my Resolutions post, there is just something so enticing about a fresh start. I have acknowledged that there is a block between me and my faith so I have decided to add something to my life that will work on dissolving that wall, while also strengthening my creativity.
I have recently started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which is about the beauty of creativity and spirituality. One of the main practices it talks about is Morning Pages, which is a method where you write three pages as soon as you wake up in the morning. It can be absolute gibberish or whatever you dreamed about or really anything that comes to mind. But the purpose is to keep writing and not stop until you reach three pages.
For Lent, I want to do this everyday as a way to flush out my mind and hopefully get to the root of my problem. I used to feel God’s presence so easily in my mind, but as of late it feels like I have pushed Him away completely. Now, I have tried Morning Pages before and it is almost physically impossible for me to remember to do them when I wake up, so I have modified it slightly into Nightly Pages. I feel like the result should be the same, but I guess only time will tell.
I hope that those of you who do participate have a blessed Lenten season.