Lenten Blog – 3: LETTING GO

Published Fri, 19/02/2021 by

I had slipped somewhat from my commitment to meditate twice a day.  Hard to put my finger on just when it happened, but Lent comes as an opportunity to reclaim a practice I regard as an essential element of my prayer life.  This should have begun on Ash Wednesday, but because of the preparations needed for the livestream Mass I only managed it the once.  (Well, that’s my excuse.)  Still, it was a start.

In meditation you let go of your thoughts.  That may sound simple, but anyone who has tried it will tell you it isn’t.  That’s not the point though: even the effort to try to let go of our thoughts is somehow helpful – freeing.  Meditation is letting go of our customary pattern of thinking (in which is revealed our compulsions, attitudes, prejudices, resentments) … to enter directly into the presence of the Lord, and just to be with him.  It’s about reclaiming your freedom as a beloved child of God.  So, for Christians who meditate, it is prayer, and not just some technique of mindfulness, as some would write it off. 

Each Lent the Office of Readings starts a series of readings from the book of Exodus.  Beginning with the enslavement of the Israelites in the land of Egypt, Exodus takes the reader through the birth and call of Moses, to his confrontation of Pharaoh with the LORD’s demand, “Let my people go”. In defiance of Pharaoh’s refusal, the people make good their escape through the Red Sea, in which their pursuers drown. The narrative continues with their progress via Sinai and prolonged sojourns in the desert towards the Promised Land.  

‘Egypt’ is a symbol of our spiritual enslavement and ‘the desert’ of our demanding journey towards freedom in Christ.  What do you need to let go of today?

MICHAEL KIRKHAM