Lenten Offering: Week 1
Welcome to WINE’s Lenten Offering—our offering to the Lord of time and listening hearts.
Pope Francis has asked us to live Lent “more intensely” this year, the Year of Mercy, so we can experience God’s mercy first-hand. In particular, he asked us to prayerfully listen to God’s word, especially the parts of Scripture that tell of His mercy.
We’re going to spend the next seven weeks prayerfully listening to God’s word, guided by a Lenten journal from Sarah Christmyer: Create in Me a Clean Heart: Ten Minutes a Day in the Penitential Psalms.
Every week we will focus on a different psalm as we allow the “two-edged sword” of the Word to do some interior spring-cleaning: to probe our hearts and root out the junk that’s clogging our spiritual pores. The hurts, the lies, the bitterness, the little sins we like to hide. We will listen for the still small voice of God, speaking to us. We will read and re-read the psalms until they become our own, lifting our faces to the light of Christ and His merciful, cleansing love.
If you don’t have the book yet, order the paperback journal from Amazon (or download the Kindle version and use your own journal to write in). Start by reading the introductory chapters, then set a regular time every weekday to pray with the psalms. Each daily step can be done in about 10 minutes, but you might want to reserve more to get quiet and focused—and in case you find yourself wanting more!
Every Monday, we’ll email you a message from Sarah to get you started. And because we’re a community of women doing this together, every Friday we invite you to come back to the blog, where we can hear from each other and share how God has touched our hearts.
Below are a few words from Sarah about our first Psalm:
Thank you for joining this Lenten journey through the Penitential Psalms!
We start with Psalm 6 (the others are 32, 38, 51, 130, and 143). It’s one of the shortest of the seven, just ten verses long, and it’s a great place to begin.
Right away, we meet the penitent: the human author, someone who’s filled with anguish because of sin or illness or persecution, or perhaps all of these. It doesn’t really matter because he’s all of us, however we’re feeling the effects of sin and our fallen world.
Then we meet the One who he turns to. And in their exchange, we learn WHY God is the one he turns to.
You may or may not share his anguish right now. You may or may not relate to the words of his prayer. But allow this psalm to be slowly written on your heart this week and you will know where to turn when you do. You will instinctively know what posture to take and where to turn your eyes and what to say, with confidence, to the God of unfailing love.
Don’t hesitate to ask me if you have questions. You can leave your question on the WINE blog (below) or write to me directly HERE. I will do my best to answer you quickly.
Blessings on you this Lent! May God create in you a clean heart.
~ Sarah Christmyer
Questions to Ponder:
As a community of women, sharing a similar journey this Lent, we invite you to share your experiences and insights with each other on the blog (below). Here are some questions, based on the journaling questions in Create in Me a Clean Heart.
1. [READ] What stood out to you about Psalm 6? Did you learn anything about God? See any patterns? Notice something else? What stood out to you?
2. [REFLECT] What did Psalm 6 say to you? When you pondered it—what does it mean?
3. [RESPOND and REST] Were you able to move into a conversation with the Lord? The specific things that He says to our hearts, and our response, are often private. Would you like to share anything about the experience of hearing from Him, or entering into that conversation, or resting in his presence?
Written by Sarah Christmyer
Sarah Christmyer is a Catholic author, Bible teacher, and speaker with a special love for lectio divina and journaling as ways to draw close to Christ in Scripture. She is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program and author or co-author of many of the studies. Sarah is an adjunct faculty member at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where she teaches Scripture to men in their Spiritual Year. Sarah also blogs at her website, www.ComeIntotheWord.com.