Digital Housekeeping and Lenten Discipline

Yesterday evening I tidied up the Resources entry page on our main web site and redid the main contact form. I realised after I had done so that I had fallen into the biggest pit of all for web designers: doing something that is technically a bit challenging and produces a ‘clever’ effect but which actually obscures rather than enhances what one is trying to say. It will be back to the digital drawing board this evening, but in the meantime I think there is  a lesson to be drawn from this, for me at least.

During Lent we can become so focused on what we are doing, the things we’re giving up, the things we’re taking on, that we can lose sight of the object of the exercise. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are meant to draw us closer to God. They may make us nicer people. They may may make the world a nicer place for everybody to live in; but if they don’t draw us closer to God, aren’t we missing something important?

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8 thoughts on “Digital Housekeeping and Lenten Discipline”

  1. Very good! But where is the line between true mindfulness and presence with the task at hand, and self-absorption? I think real mindfulness does draw us closer to God. I think I used to “miss” most of my life because I wasn’t truly there in the present moment, aware and awake. It’s our intention that counts the most, although we can wander out of focus.

    • I think we know what draws us to God by the fruit of it in our lives: what bears fruit in love of God and neighbor. It’s not a “love” that we can necessarily feel as an emotion, but in what somehow brings real peace to us (a peace that surpasses human quantification and understanding as the gospel says), and an ability to be exquisitely kind and compassionate with others. It’s also whatever draws us back to live life moment by moment with awareness and clarity, as St. Benedict says, by being willing “to open our eyes to the light.” Does this make sense to anybody?

      • Yes, it’s beautifully put and very helpful. And I hope you all know I wasn’t being cheeky or (I hope) simply stupid when I asked the question.

  2. Thank you Robyn, this makes complete sense to me though I couldn’t state it as clearly. I know what you mean about the moments of awareness. Sometimes it’s as simple as the gift of really seeing the beauty of a spring tree.

    • I’m glad what I said was helpful. More and more I find that when I feel most closely drawn to and in contact with God several things are happening at once: 1) I am alive to the present moment: aware, mindful, seeing clearly, awake to what IS. (The Light of God) 2) God’s gift is the ability to accept what is, and not struggle against it or resist it, and the ability to respond rather than to react. (The Peace of God) 3) Being willing to allow ourselves to be present enough to respond with empathy to the needs, sufferings, joys of those around us, especially those we would usually easily overlook. (The Love of God) 4) “Faith” ceases to be about belief systems and becomes more about communing with God in the midst of everything. (The Knowledge of God)

  3. Thank you very much for your comments. Mindfulness of God tends to take our eyes off ourself and, as Robyn indicates, we can be aware of that work of God in us principally through the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives: peace, joy, love, etc.

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