Continuing in this time of Lent can seem overwhelming. Forty days in a row of anything in our society seems like overkill. We have been raised within a luxurious society of change, variety, and ever-present distractions. Lent is so counter to our daily living. This time in the Christian calendar keeps our frailty, our mortality, our sinfulness, and our need for God in front of us with a persistence that is rare in our time. If we are able to face it and submit to this time, we open our lives to the living God in ways we often hide from and neglect due to our busyness and pace of life.
Lent repeatedly calls to us to repent of our sin. It is a period of time when we turn the focus of our lives toward our limitations, failings, struggles, mistakes, regrets, and omissions. A time when we invite God to help us change our ways. One approach for us to face this prospect of sustaining a life of careful reflection and sincere repentance is the practice of praying the Purity Collect. During Lent is a great time to regularly recite this prayer. Praying it slowly and taking time between phrases and sentences for silence and/or to reflect on the words and how they relate to our lives can make this a meaningful and significant exercise.
The Purity Collect:
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love thee,
and worthily magnify thy holy Name:
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May we face ourselves and lay aside our sin, that we might embrace our calling as daughters and sons of the living God. May we keep a blessed Lent.