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My heart is ready

My heart is ready

‘My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready’

With this antiphon (from psalm 107), we opened our Morning Prayer today.  We’re here, at the beginning of Lent, having prepared ourselves for the  journey that lies ahead.  We are equipped with a written plan, we’ve used up our ‘eggs’, we’re shriven, we’re determined, we’re enthusiastic.  In short, our hearts are ready, O God.

But ready for what?

On Sunday, we’ll hear how ‘Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness‘  and our Lenten journey is similar: we are leaving our comfort zones and we don’t really know what to expect.

When we strive towards a more intimate relationship with our Father in prayer, we trustfully step out of our usual parameters, away from our ego-centricity and into the unknown. When we resolve to act with courageous and generous charity,we trust that Jesus, model of Charity will take our good beginnings to their fruitful ends.  When we strip ourselves of those known comforts of everyday life through fasting, we trust that the Holy Spirit will be our sustainer.

At this point, we have some idea of where we want (need) to go, but we must allow ourselves to be ‘led by the Spirit‘ and be flexible enough – and brave enough – to amend those plans accordingly.  There’s our Lenten plan… and there’s God’s plan for our Lent.  If ours is incompatible with His, we must shift our goalposts (because, apart from anything else, His ideas for us are always better than even our grandest scheme!).

The wilderness of Lent seems daunting from here, but let us pray for the courage to follow where the Spirit will lead, trusting that (as psalm 107 closes) ‘with God we shall do bravely‘.

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