Attuning Our Hearts to Lent

Read: St. Matthew 26:36-46

Jesus said, “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” St. Luke 8:18

The man had just stepped into a crowded drugstore into a telephone booth. He had been told that an urgent message awaited him at home.

But try as hard as he could, he could not distinguish the voice at the other end of the line, and the message was lost in the clatter and the clamor of the crowded store.

Finally he managed to catch one sentence. “Herman, dear,” said the voice in the telephone, “please close the door behind you, and you can hear.” Because he had forgotten to close the door to the booth, the noises of the drugstore had drowned out the distant voice of his wife at home.

During these coming weeks of Lent, as we step from the busy, noisy world of everyday life into the hush and quiet of the Lenten season, we should make sure we have closed the doors behind us. We should close the door to all that would distract or disturb us in our solemn contemplation of the wondrous Lenten theme.

There is a message in the sacred Lenten season, a message from the Father’s heart to ours. It is a message of peace and pardon, of courage and strength, of life and hope, through the wounds and death of Jesus our Savior.

It is up to us to make sure that we have closed the doors against the busy world that would deprive us of that message. It will be up to us to open our hearts to Him who went from the Garden of Gethsemane to the cross of Calvary so that we might go from earth to heaven.

The following hymn stanzas are an appropriate prayer as we enter the Lenten season.

               Jesus, I will ponder now On Thy holy passion;

               With Thy Spirit me endow For such meditation.

               Grant that I in love and faith May the image cherish.

               Of Thy suff’ring, pain, and death That I may not perish.

               Grant that I Thy Passion view With repentant grieving

               Nor Thee crucify anew By unholy living.

               How could I refuse to shun Every sinful pleasure

            Since for me God’s only Son Suffered without measure?  Amen.

How has prayer helped you? How does your personal prayer time and communal prayer time in worship inform and feed you? Look for more stories of prayer in next week’s Monday Meditation.