The following piece first appeared in the Faith Formation and Education newsletter. Subscribe to receive future newsletters.
Photo credit: Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
I open the door of my heart to You, my Beloved;
enter in and fill me with Your steadfast love.
This is the season of Lent. You may have a long personal history of Lenten practices begun in childhood; you may be just returning to your faith with hopes for your children’s spiritual formation; or you may be completely new to the Christian faith approaching your first cycle of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Wherever you are on your journey, Lent offers a special opportunity for each spiritual seeker to quiet down, to relax and let go, to simply be.
This holy time in the church year offers an invitation to bring the background into the foreground. That is, to bring to the front of my life experience the “everything else” I tend to run past on my way to the next item on my to-do list. I’m guessing you know what I mean. Here’s the thing: the “everything else” in the background contains a gift. And there is a way to slow down and receive it. We can call it into the foreground through stillness.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the Lenten discipline of stillness can become a resource for developing well-being and joy. Find a quiet place. Let God know of your desire to connect and to receive the gift of God’s loving Presence into your heart. All season long and beyond, we can make a choice to weave some stillness into our lives. We can make a choice to unoccupy our minds fixated on likes/dislikes, on good/bad, on me/mine, on all the story lines and plot twists that keep us from noticing all the ways that the Holy One is trying to communicate with us every single day. In stillness, we can step away from the frenzy of busyness—for twenty minutes a day or so—and notice that God has been supporting us, holding us, loving us tenderly in the background. And so we choose to shift the lens.
Beautiful things can happen when we become still and turn toward God with open-hearted appreciation in this moment. And this one. In this breath. In this experience. In this confusion. In this letting go. In this body. In this terror. In this frustration. In this plan. In this intention to sit here with God for a while … and marvel in the moment. God loves us as we are. Take some time for stillness and notice what it feels like to be cherished!
Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones is Associate Director of Faith Formation and Education at Trinity Church Wall Street. She invites you to join her and John Deuel online for Meditation and The Universal Christ, Wednesdays at 6:30pm. To register, email ChristianFormation@trinitywallstreet.org.
- Kathy Bozzuti-Jones leads a 15-minute guided meditation for inner peace in uncertain times.
- During Lent, our Whole Community is focusing on growing a rule of life — “a way of regularizing our life, of bringing order and an intentional approach to the way that we are living,” according to Br. David Vryhof.