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Bless the Lent we actually have

Read the daily devotional either below on this page or downloading the pdf.

Pray the daily prayers in the devotional.

Answer questions and discuss the readings and reflections on our Forum page.

Listen to Fr. Ben's sermons each Sunday in Lent.

Live the 40 days of Lent.

Reflect throughout the season on how you are experiencing blessing in the messiness.

BLESSED ARE WE, A MESS OF CONTRADICTIONS, IN OUR DELUSIONS AND DEEP HOPES, IN OUR FRAGILITY AND FINITUDE.

Lent marks the forty days leading up to Easter, mirroring the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness. It is a practice that began during the 4th century as a way to prepare Christians for the holiest days of the year. During Lent, we ask God to show us the world as it is. We begin with the reality of our finitude rubbed on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday— from dust we were made, to dust we shall return. Then, we walk through that reality in a kind of dress rehearsal. It’s the downward slope of God—the Great Descent, where the whole Church walks toward the cross. Frankly, Lent is my favorite part of the church calendar because it is a time when the whole church is on the losing team. A time when we all get a minute to tell the truth: Life is so beautiful and life is so hard. For everyone. Of course, the cross isn’t the end of the story, but this season of grief is carved out to acknowledge the reality of Christ’s sacrifice. And the reality of suffering that so many of our circumstances reflect too—our own pain and grief and despair. Easter is coming, yes. But for now, we sit in the ashes of our broken dreams and broken hearts, knowing that God sits here with us. Many people practice Lent by giving something up—alcohol, meat, chocolate, social media. Some take up something new—a new prayer practice or swearing profusely like I did one year (you probably remember reading about this in Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved)). But Lent is an incredible moment for the spiritual honesty we are practicing here. Together, we’re going to bless the days we have, while longing for the future God promised when there will be no tears, no pain, no email. We have selected forty blessings that you might use in the days leading up to Lent. This free guide includes scriptures to read, discussion questions, and a place to reflect on the journey through Lent. Whether you are practicing Lent solo or using this book with your church, in a book club, or around the dinner table with your family, my hope and prayer is that we can understand that our actual days—pain-filled, lovely, ordinary, garbage—might be blessed.

ONWARD TOGETHER,

Kate

@KATECBOWLER

KATEBOWLER.COM

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