Spiritual Practices – Going Deeper

Second Week of Lent. Click here to read or listen to daily reflections for this week.

AA023442In what is perhaps the best-known work on spiritual practices, Celebration of Discipline author Richard Foster observes that “Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”

The spiritual practices, or spiritual disciplines, says Foster, call us to move beyond surface living into the depths.

This week in “Practicing Lent 2015,” we begin five weeks of engaging spiritual practices. Each day, Monday through Friday, offers a reflection on a particular practice then invites you to undertake a relevant activity.

In addition, each week begins with a biblical perspective on a particular practice from the Rev. Drs. John Lewis and Jane Patterson. This week, John Lewis writes on prayer.

We will continue to alert you on Sunday evenings that the written and audio posts for each day are available. We suggest you keep this post in your email inbox and refer to it each day, or bookmark the  page for each week.

We welcome your comments.

And to Make a Right Beginning . . .


Practicing Lent 2015 Week 1 begins here. Or see the menu on the right.


by Marjorie Gpurple arroweorge

I have a friend who has a saying: start as you intend to go. Thus, if you want a well- behaved dog, train the puppy.

Maybe that is why the gospel reading for this coming Sunday – the first Sunday in Lent – is about Christ’s temptations. Jesus is starting as he intends to go (see Mark 1:9-15).

As John Lewis says in his Ash Wednesday reflection on Jesus’ temptations, “before he goes into the world to carry out God’s mission, Jesus must first define for himself what it means to be the beloved, Spirit-empowered Son of God. He must determine how and under what circumstances he will put this awesome power to use in the service of God.”

Mark’s gospel does not give us the full version of the temptations, but Luke does. In Luke’s narrative we learn that Jesus is offered and rejects three opportunities to use his power for other than God’s purposes. He is setting the trajectory of his three-year public ministry to follow God and only God. He intends to show and live and be the love of God. He will end up on a cross, where he intends to go.

Our prayer book invites us to the observance of a holy Lent “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (page 265).

During the next six weeks of Lent, we will look more deeply at prayer, fasting and self-denial, reading and meditating on God’s word, as well as loving our neighbor and connecting with 20th century saints.

We begin on Ash Wednesday by exploring the three temptations of Christ in the wilderness. Then we spend the next few weeks engaging some spiritual practices before ending with a study of Holy Week.

We welcome your feedback and invite your questions and comments.

And in the name of the church, we invite to the observance of a holy Lent by engaging the journey, heading with Christ to the cross and resurrection – where we intend to go.


Preparing for Lent

Our diocesan Lenten study – Practicing Lent 2015 – begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18.

In preparation, we invite you to read Introduction to the Spiritual Practices, attached here as a PDF file.

For congregations and small groups, a Guide for Congregations and Small Groups is available, also attached here as a PDF file. But the study is entirely suitable for individual study.

The meditations for Ash Wed, Feb 18 through Friday, Feb 20 have been posted and can be downloaded and printed for congregational study.

If you wish to receive a daily Lenten inspirational thought as a text message on your cell phone, send your name and cell phone number to Marjorie George at marjorie.george@dwtx.org.

We look forward to joining you for Practicing Lent 2015.