Monday, March 10, 2014

A Personal Note and the Beginning of Lent

a personal note...

This week my life took a dramatic turn when I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation and became Dr. Rhodes after four arduous years of study.  During that time devotionals from the Soul at Rest website have been few and far between  I hope that will change now that I have a little more time on my hands. 

I wanted to write now because we are in the beginning of Lent, and this is such a special time.  My first experience with meditating on the passion narratives was almost 20 years ago, and I can honestly say that every year since has taken me deeper into the wonder of what the cross really means.  After that first experience, I wrote:  God beckons us to gaze in awe at what we see on Calvary’s mount. He challenges us to bathe in the wonder of such love until we lay ourselves down, weary with unworthiness, yet cleansed and renewed in the healing stream of blood shed there.

I look forward to keeping in touch.  If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to email me at

about lent

Often the Lenten season creeps up on us as Protestants, and we wish we had been a little more spiritually prepared.  My philosophy is that it is never too late to start.  While Lent officially began on Wednesday, March 5, you can still make plans to set aside a period of time--days or weeks--for focus, spiritual renewal, and a fresh vision of crucified love.
Some ideas to help you focus: 
  • Fast in some way--a meal a day, a full day each week, eating out, pleasure foods etc.--and use that time to read the passion narratives reflectively (for guidance on how, click here
  • Let go of media--TV, facebook, twitter, instagram, web surfing--an evening or a day a week, or even the entire season, and use the time to pray and read. 
  • Work through a devotional like Contemplating the Cross by yourself, with your family, or in a small group (The publisher no longer allows me to make these available online, but click on the title for a sample devotional and ordering information. 
  • Set aside a block of time each week to focus spiritually. Use it to get away from the busyness of life to read, pray, and contemplate Christ's death (Catholic churches are almost always open and available for quiet meditation).
These are just a few thoughts. May you be drawn to greater intimacy with Christ during this very precious time of the year.

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