The season of Lent traditionally emphasized the need for metanoia, “a transformative change of heart”, beginning with the recognition that all is not right within our world, our relationships and ourselves. It was designed to be marked heavily with acts of penitence, general deprivation and solemnity. While the call to acknowledge our brokenness, and seek forgiveness, remains a key theme, may I suggest that the season can be verdant with life-giving changes, big and small.
This daily devotional, inspired by Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “Choose life so that you may live…loving the Lord your God…”, embraces a multidisciplinary approach, inclusive of our personal histories, health and wholeness, current situations, and the environment. It will, God being our helper, encourage a mindfulness of God’s presence and the challenge to experience God’s Grace and the Spirit’s guidance in the everyday moments of our lives. Through the 40 Days(plus the five Sundays), we will journey as a parish, together with Christians worldwide, together with our Saviour Jesus, coming at last to the foot of the Cross and then witnessing to the Sonrise that is our Light and our Hope.
Each day will provide some food for thought, some spiritual nourishment related to the Lenten disciplines. Some days also offer a winter appropriate recipe (given my own avocation) with an emphasis on vegetarian options as an approach to fasting. Acknowledgements: Thank you to our Bishop for his commendation, to Ian Kelly for administering the web site component, to Emma Lackey for teaching Mom how to crop photos and manage the files and to all those who gave permission to have pictures of themselves included on our website. Blessings, Susan+
“I invite you therefore, in the name of the Lord,
to observe a holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting and almsgiving,
and by reading and meditating on the word of God.”
Commendation: The Right Reverend John H. Chapman, Bishop of Ottawa
The truth is, we all observe Lent in different ways. Some of us lean toward “doing” and some toward “giving up,” and others, deep prayer, while others study. But what is critical is that somehow in our Lenten practices and devotions we engage in some spiritual exercise together, as a community, as the family of St. Helen’s. I am confident that this elegant Devotional, prepared by your clergy, will draw you together as the family of God living in anticipation of the cross of Christ, which we share, and the empty tomb which we celebrate.
The Rt. Rev. John H Chapman
Bishop of Ottawa