Our liturgical calendar offers openings throughout the year to pause, reflect upon and renew our spiritual lives. The opportunity to make an interior Lenten journey begins this year on Ash Wednesday, March 1st.
Lent is a time for reflection and preparation for Easter as we contemplate Christ’s forty days of withdrawal and sacrifice in the desert prior to his crucifixion. Lent provides a portal to an intentional sacred season with the invitation to consciously connect with the Divine Presence within.
The spiritual commitment to enter into sacred internal space for prayer, contemplation, and journaling each day throughout the Lenten season provides the possibility for spiritual transformation and renewal with Easter’s arrival, and the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. You’re invited to select a pocket-sized, blank book/journal to designate as your Lenten Journey Logbook. It will serve as a sacred container for your spiritual insights and reveal pathways for self-discovery.
The four quadrants of time within each day offer four distinct thresholds to sacred awareness during Lent and throughout the year. Consider pausing for personal reflection as the earth turns from dawn to day, dusk to dark. Carry your logbook/ journal with you to make thumbprint notations through the hours with the passing of time. Weekly in-depth reflections can also be added to mark inner rhythms and patterns during your Lenten journey.
The following map for your journey presents the four quadrants of time, accompanied by journal prompts. Be creative and explore additional questions that naturally arise throughout the hours. The use of assorted colored pens or markers may enrich the experience, as well as, highlight the preciousness of each particular portion of time.
Beginning with Ash Wednesday and continuing throughout Lent until Easter Sunday, bring your sacred awareness and creative spirit to the following daily prompts. Each day, reflect and make note of the patterns within your journey.
- Where and when do you feel expansion?
- Where and when do you feel contraction?
- What portion of the day (each day) is most life-giving?
- When do you feel depleted?
- When and where do you notice God’s palpable presence?
Dawn: Upon awakening reflect on the blessing of morning and contemplate God’s creation and the hidden wisdom within your dream images that linger beyond sleep. Reflect as the day begins:
- How will I express gratitude to God today, for my life and the gift of this day?
- What symbols/images did I receive in my dreams last night that I might embody and learn from today?
- Who in my life needs an encouraging word or visit today?
- Where do I recognize illumination for my path (God’s inspiration) being revealed?
Day: The light of day provides myriad opportunities to serve as Christ’s heart and hands here on earth. Reflect mid-day:
- How may I best serve friends, family, my ministry, my co-workers, today?
- Is there something I am carrying in my heart that creates a blockage hindering my full presence to recognizing and embracing the Christ within others?
- What area of my life is calling for fasting for my spiritual growth; fasting from spending, eating, gossiping, technology, complaining, etc.?
Dusk: Sunset begins the new day as we move towards the dark. This is the time to shift from “doing” to “being” in preparation for night. Pause for prayer and contemplation as the light diminishes and be fully present to the day’s departure. Reflect as the night approaches:
- What do I need to let go of through prayer as I prepare for night?
- Who do I need to make amends with/forgive?
- What pulls me away from physical, spiritual, or emotional rest?
Dark: Blessed rest. The velvet depth of night arrives. Before sleep and dreams, time for reflection, prayer, contemplation.
- How did I help make the world a better place today?
- How was I hurtful today?
- What correction to life’s course could I make tomorrow?
- What am I most grateful for from this day?
- I embrace the peace-filled and life-giving image of…as I go to sleep and enter the realm of dreams.
You may also wish to add imagery, drawings, photos, or collage to your journal. In this way your journal will become a written and visual Lenten prayer.
May your Lenten journey and logbook bless you with renewal, deepening, and enrichment for your spirit.