Lenten Aspirations and Really Deep Faith.

I found this list today, recommending several books that would be good for reading and reflection during Lent (well it advocates reading and discussing them but reading and engaging in a robust inner dialogue is just as good, right?).

I love Lent. It’s all about preparation and possibilities and refining. My previous Lenten practise of Veganism is now my normal, so I’ll have to branch out a bit this year. Maybe fasting? I did a three day fast last year and things got a bit profound, actually, in the ‘Whooa, I’m not blogging about this’ kind of way.

I particularly like the look of Sabbath as Resistance; Saying No the the Culture of Now. But the reviews on Amazon seem to indicate that I’ll be stirred to resist multi-tasking and consumerism and I’m not sure whether I want to be challenged in that way right now. Which I know is the whole point but I would like my comfort zone stretched on my own terms, thank you very much (yes, yes. I know).

A Glorious Dark: Finding Hope in the Tension between Belief and Experience and The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith look interesting too, although they seem to be of the ‘faith is hard, embrace your doubts, it’s fine, questioning is good’ variety, which I’m a bit ambivalent about to be honest because doubt and I are fine. We’re good. I don’t need to be patted and told it’s OK, because doubt is one of my things.

Which brings me to this quote that I saw yesterday from Flannery O’Conner;
“I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross.”

I wonder how much faith actually costs most people? I wonder if you are not being challenged and stretched then you’re not doing it properly? And I don’t mean ‘cost’ such as people giggling uncomfortably when they discover that you’re a Christian, or assuming that you’re slightly dim. I mean really going deep. Like this.

8 thoughts on “Lenten Aspirations and Really Deep Faith.

  1. My former pastor always thought it was better to add something instead of giving something up. I’m still trying to figure out what I will either give up or add or maybe even both.

    • Oh I like that. One year I gave up cakes and treaty things and donated the money that I saved. I guess that’s along those lines? More prayer is always good too 🙂

  2. “I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe.” Gracious, that really resonates with me!

  3. You’re more disciplined than I am – I have never really been into Lent.

    But I do admire the Love Makes a Way people and support what they are doing. That was a powerful little video.

  4. Eva, I’m going to get “Sabbath as resistance”. It’s by Brueggemann! Who just happens to be one of the greats of the Old Testament (my personal no. 1).

    “Reading and robust internal dialogue” is better than nothing, but reading and discussing is much, much better. A reading group? Even an online reading group – I’m in if you’re in!

    • I bought it yesterday. It will be challenging for me, I think. Well, actually taking on board its ideas will be. Open to reading group suggestions!

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