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Guest post: Gary Hoag Lenten reflection - Sacred Struggles

Mar 7, 2017 at 1:39 PM

Generosity MonkSacred Struggles

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Matthew 6:25-27

“Lent provides us with the grace-filled opportunity to reflect upon, and name our own sacred struggles. To recognize and accept that which we are most anxious about, that which keeps us up at night, that which prevents us from growing in our faith, hope, and trust…Are there any prayer intentions that you’ve been hesitant to name? Sacred struggles you dare not ask God to meet? Healings or forgiveness that you aren’t sure whether you are prepared for? What are you most anxious about now? As part of our commitment to be people of prayer and to embrace our sacred struggles, I would like to invite you to…jot down your Lenten prayer intention…your “sacred struggle” if you will, that is preventing you from growing and thriving in your faith.”
-from Father Tony Zimmer in his homily entitled “Sacred Struggle” on February 26, 2017 at St. Anthony on the Lake in Pewaukee, WI

As the first week of Lent draws to a close, I would encourage you to make the most of the opportunity to go deeper in your experience of prayer this Lent. With Fr. Zimmer, remember that it’s a “grace-filled opportunity” to lift up to God anything and everything that brings you anxiety. Such things become “sacred struggles” because we get stuck. We lose sleep. We worry. We start making other decisions that reflect the anxiety swelling within us. With Fr. Zimmer, let us give God our “sacred struggles” this Lent and see what happens to our faith.

How does this relate to generosity? When our lives our filled with worry and anxiety, we tend to hoard in fear rather than live open-handed, generous lives! Make the most of your prayer time this Lent, and I think your generosity will blossom along with your faith!

As a bonus for those who like to add music to their prayer time, click to listen to “Gracious God”Gracious God song by Jesse Manibusan. It’s a beautiful song that St. Anthony on the Lake is using this Lent. You will notice it speaks of the sacred struggle in the second verse.

Enjoy it in your time with our Lord today.

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