“By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.” – Genesis 3:19 (NIV)
“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” – Steve Jobs
“Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion.” – Deepak Chopra
In his essay “On Prayer,” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote:
“Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism, falsehood. The liturgical movement must become a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that continue to destroy the promise, the hope, and the vision.”
Today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fasnacht Tag, and many others.
Whatever you may call it, it is the day before Lent. In the Christian tradition, Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. (Sundays are skipped in counting the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection.)
We will be celebrating UU Lent with daily posts again this year. Here is the calendar. We hope you will join us on this spiritual journey.
#UULent is designed to be used individually, as a family, or as a congregation. For each day in Lent a word has been selected. Each day participants are invited to reflect on the meaning of the day’s word, then create a photograph that represents the word, idea, practice, or concept and post it here and/or elsewhere.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday and for each day until Easter, the word for the day and a related quote will be posted. Reflect and engage throughout the day, checking for the word and quote in the morning, then come back later in the day to add your photo* and to see the images and words others have shared throughout the day (*YOUR photo – please respect copyright!).
May this intentional practice and discipline impact your daily life in ways that bring you closer to your spiritual core and offer you resiliency for life.
Here at West Fork Unitarian Universalists we will strive to post a reflection each day on the word of the day. We look forward to journeying through this season of contemplation with you.
Now has come hard winter,
With whip of wind and slash of snow
and the diamond-bright stars in the black ice of the heavens.
Just as we resist the season with shovel and scraper, wool and windbreaker,
we embrace it with sled and snowboard, cocoa and comforter.
Winter is here: let us find warmth in this time of being together.
As REM said, “Everybody hurts”
But what do we do about it? What do we need? Comfort would be the answer.
Merriam Webster defines Comfort:
1: to give strength and hope to: cheer
What is power? Who has power? What does it mean to be in a place of power or position of power? These questions are coming up more often and for many, it has become part of a spiritual practice to answer them.
But there are many kinds of power.
Matthew Johnson wrote For Five Thousand Years or More about spiritual power.
There is natural power like the falls in the picture for this post.
So, how can we best use our power? How can we find our power?
What is prayer? According to Wikipedia, “Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private.” Prayer is seen as definitively religious. Prayer can be healing. Prayer can be a destination for our thoughts. There are as many ways to prayers as there are people who pray.
Beliefnet collected The Essential Prayers of World Religions. They are the Refuge Prayer from Buddhism, the Lord’s Prayer from Christianity, the Faitha from Islam, the Gayatri Mantra from Hinduism, and the Shema from Judaism.
Some people sing. Some people use prayer beads. Some color mandalas. Some pray out loud. Some pray silently.
“The Atheist Prays” by Barbara J. Pescan wrestles with the questions about praying when you are unsure if anyone is listening.
I am going to leave you with a song from Kesha’s new album.
Peace and Prayers,