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26 February 2009 @ 01:59 am
Hi there! and Lent reflection  
Hi folks, I'm new here. I noticed there's not been much posting for a long time, but this looks like a really cool community that could be really encouraging to me, at least, so. :)

I'm Jenn, I'm 44, I live in rural Texas with my husband and three of our six kids (4 his, 2 mine, all ours, as we like to put it). I have journeyed through many faith paths, and for now, the United Methodist approach seems to be what works for me.

It's very weird being a liberal Christian in rural Texas. We live in a town of 579 registered voters, and my husband and I and one of our friends are the only registered Democrats in the entire town. But yet these very conservative people accept us just as we are, it's very cool.

Anyways, I wanted to share my thoughts on my first Lent in ten years as a non-Catholic.

Today was my first Ash Wednesday as a non-Catholic. Did it feel any different?

No, it didn't. I thought that it would, but it was just as deep and meaningful as last year in the Catholic church.

We heard a sermon by Nancy DiMarco (Rocky is out of town with his wife, visiting both sets of their parents) about disciplining ourselves for prayer and reflection during Lent and always. It was a very interesting sermon, and I must ask her for a copy of it.

We did a responsorial psalm, the standard 51st. I wasn't crazy about the musical setting for that one, I far prefer this (which is also probably my all time favorite worship song, since I first heard it in 1980):

But choice of music isn't the point. The point is in the message, which is awareness of my own sins, confessing them to God, and true repentance.

This will be the first Lent in nearly ten years that I have not gone to confession with a priest. That will be strange. I still am not fully comfortable with the idea that I don't need a priest to absolve me of my sin, that God Himself does that, has, in fact, already done that. It comes down to learning to trust in God, not a church organization.

This Lenten season it is my intention to deepen my understanding of God and what He wills for me. To deepen my relationship with Him through prayer and study of my Bible. To examine myself deeply, truly repent of my sins both past and present, and seek forgiveness for all of it. To start fresh and clean.

That will be my Lenten sacrifice. I'm not giving up something tangible. I'm giving up taking it all for granted, instead.

May this Lent bring everybody closer to God.

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