Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lent 2015

Spirituality is about the hunger in the human heart. It is a 
commitment to immersion in God, to the seeking that has 
no end. — Joan Chittister

Somewhere along the way I discovered that I am a life-long seeker. I have always been drawn to all things spiritual - both religious and supernatural. I spent the entire school year in fourth grade reading books about ghosts, superstitions, and haunted places (my favorite holiday is still Halloween. Probably because it signals the beginning of the Holiday Season. Or maybe because of the haunted houses. Either one works for me.) In high school I aspired to learn about biblical teachings and church traditions. In college I devoted a great deal of time learning about the history of Judaism and Christianity. (I also devoted a great deal of time to partying and having a good time. But that is another story for another time….)

I married into a Jewish family, although my husband was raised Catholic out of respect for his father’s family culture. Since my family is Catholic, this worked for me, and I returned to my own family’s Catholic roots in order to continue that culture with our own children (with a little Jewish history and tradition, along with some Jewish soul food, thrown in for good measure). 

And, while my children all attended Catholic schools at least through the fifth grade, I always emphasized that faith is a very individual experience and it is my opinion that religion is a cultural expression of that inner faith. Thus, each of my children is responsible for his or her own faith. I can’t enforce faith on them any more than someone else can enforce faith on me. It’s something we all need to figure out for ourselves, and that growth is constantly changing and evolving. 

Which, I believe, is what Lent is all about. 

A few weeks ago I bought the book, 40 Soul-Stretching Conversations, by Sister Joan Chittister, with the intention of exploring my own ideas of what faith and spirituality mean to me at this point in my life. It is also my intent (well, providing that I like this year’s journey) to break out this book time and time again. The book is actually a small journal that provides daily quotes and then insight from Sr. Joan (because obviously we are on a first-name basis) before inviting readers to jot down their own thoughts and responses.

After some contemplation, I decided that what I would like to do - if you will allow me the indulgence - is to use this as my Lent Journal. 

Each day during Lent I will provide you with the quote, a snippet of Sr. Joan’s response, and then my own contemplation.  

Here’s the caveat: your responses are not only welcome, they are essential in order to keep the conversation - and growth - moving forward. So, please feel free to add a comment at the end of each post, or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter (you know how to find me). I look forward to seeking out more spiritual truths and personal growth with you this Lenten season!

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