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Personal photo 

My grandmother pitching to my youngest cousin at my brother's graduation (2005)

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Three photos I came across that I savored this afternoon (expand this status to see them in the thread!)

Cool tip from the Lenten devotional I'm using (The Little Black Book): "One way to pray the Scripture is to 'take someone with you' and talk with them along the way. For example, Mary Magdalene, or Peter, or Mary the mother of Jesus."

I love this possibility for relating to the saints-- inviting them along for a reading.

Today's prompt is on prepared meals! Here's a favorite vegatarian recipe for lentil soup (scroll to the bottom for the actual recipe). recipetineats.com/lentil-soup/ I made it yesterday, adding some green chilies for even more heat.

Prayer Request 

My grandmother broke her shoulder this morning and is in the hospital.

She is 100, so these breaks can be intense.

Would appreciate your prayers.

The Jesus Prayer reminds me that my sinfulness does not have the last word.

Sometimes, my negativity toward myself starts with a healthy desire to repent but gets stuck there and twists me toward self-involvement rather than grace.

Jesus's mercy lets me remember that I am made in the image of God.

One thing that brings me joy is long-time friendship. I am grateful to the folks who know me from various phases of life and who continue to delight me with wisdom and insight after years of conversation. In many cases, the strongest friends are those who differ from me in rather significant ways, but who share a similar thirst for the journey. I thank God for them.

I'm thinking about family members, mentors who got me started in theology, inspiring colleagues, and (of course) @Julian

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Today's reflection from the "Savoring Lent" resource shared by @jimrobinson : "International Women’s Day. Sit quietly and savor the memory of the women who have been life-
givers to you. Don’t forget Mother Earth! How can you show your gratitude to them?"

Lenten Disciplines 

Online, I have noticed a sort of spiritual elitism that dismisses certain disciplines as superficial even before the people practicing them have a chance to explain themselves.

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Lenten Disciplines 

Some folks react strongly to hearing that I am giving up alcohol for Lent.

Some reactions are oddly extreme, as though I am choosing to do self-flagellation or something. I've read a lot of people who encounter that reaction too.

More surprising are those who respond that Lent isn't a health challenge and that they are "taking on, rather than giving up." (This isn't really a health challenge for me, but in these cases I don't quite get the chance to clarify that).

Lenten Disciplines 

Posting here in the hope that I am avoiding being the hypocrite as described by Jesus in yesterday's gospel. Rather, posting for the sake of accountability.

Prayer: doing a daily evening prayer based on the Liturgy of the Hours with @Julian

Fasting: giving up alcohol.

Almsgiving: giving a portion of my "fun money" each week to a classroom on Donors Choose.

I hope that your disciplines help awaken you to God's call and presence. Please pray the same for me!

So, I'm thinking another opportunity for expanding this sleepy monastery would be some sort of common discipline during Lent. Perhaps we could find somebody to take leadership of a day of the week and then give a distinctive offering for spiritual enrichment on that day (a question, reflection, practice, or piece of art for other members to interact with). What do you think?

Who has prayer requests to share for this week?

We have a number of college instructors in this virtual monastery. Let's keep all teachers and students in our prayers as a new semester begins!

One of my major temptations in prayer is self-centeredness, so I try to seek out practices that take me outside of myself. Leaving my apartment and focusing my mind on Jesus Christ through walking prayer. Praying the liturgy of the hours to discipline my prayer according to the needs of the world.

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I usually do this when out-and-about, walking in my neighborhood on my way to the train station, running errands, or just enjoying the area.

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My main contemplative practice is the use of the Jesus Prayer while walking. I've found that I have difficulty with centering prayer or meditation when staying in one place, but the use of a focusing mantra while walking helps me center myself in God's presence.

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