Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Giving up Lent for Lent

As a counter point to much I have written in this blog lately as we begin Lent, I thought it would be good to share Diane Butler Bass' essay on the year she gave up Lent for Lent. She writes,
A few years ago, I stopped struggling with my bad attitude toward Lent. I gave up Lent for Lent. I skipped Ash Wednesday, made no promises to God, and instituted no rigorous prayer schedule. I wanted to enjoy one March with no onerous spiritual obligations.

An odd thing happened, however, during my Lenten non-observance. I began to understand and experience Lent in new and deeper ways. When freed from expectations and requirements, sermons and scriptures spoke to my soul. By the end of Lent, I found myself willingly attending extra services, including two Good Friday liturgies.
The full essay is online here: Giving up Lent.

It worth noting that the goal of Lent is to connect one to God. The reformer Martin Luther found that Lent as practiced in his own time was often all show with no substance. Luther publicly ate sausages on Fridays in Lent, advocating inward change, not outward piety alone. This is not so different from the Prophet Joel who wrote, "Rend your hearts and not your garments" referring to the practice of tearing your clothes to show you were repentent. He preferred a change of heart to tearing fabric.

In my experience, the spiritual disciplines of Lent have helped nurture my faith and my connection to God. Yet, we must remember the goal and never let outward signs of faith get in the way of our actual relationship with God. Right?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor+



  • At 2/27/2007 7:54 AM, Anonymous kenny said…


    Of course, sometimes we can be lacksadaisical and self-righteous and it's hard to discern your own motives. We can all use the reminder.


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