What we have been given is not to be kept and hoarded for ourselves, but to be passed on freely and shared, so that it may bring life to others. In my work as a therapist, it is usually the questions I ask, rather than the statements, suggestions, or “advice” I offer that are the most helpful means of effecting this sharing and the new life that rises from it.
Today is Ash Wednesday (as well as Valentine’s Day!). It marks the beginning of the Season of Lent, a “very acceptable time.” This year I choose not to “give up” some “goodie” or “treat,” but rather to make my Lenten practice one of asking questions — not of others, but of myself.
- How am I open to the Presence of God today?
- in myself?
- in others?
- in nature and all Creation?
- What lesson is God asking me to learn from the people God brings into my life?
- In what ways might I be “missing the mark” (which is really the Hebrew definition of ‘sin’) in my love and care for others?
- Where are kindness, compassion, understanding, and self-sacrifice in my life today?
- Am I truly listening to God, speaking to me in the depths of my heart — in the midst of trouble and distress, as well as in silence and calm?
The second reading (2 Cor. 5:20-6:1) from today’s Liturgy reminds us:
“Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:
In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.”