A Leap of Faith

BRo Duncan PBGV takes a leap in the snowThroughout Europe a Siberian blast is sending us all into a collective shiver. Here in Britain the ‘Beast from the East’ makes our customary preoccupation with the weather a source of much merriment if we’re sitting round a warm fireside, or much misery if waiting cold and numb for a ‘bus or train that is late or never comes. Our attitude is constantly shifting, and it does not take much to turn us from one to the other.

Lent can be a bit like that. There are some mornings when we awake full of fervour and good will, ready to ‘do battle with the dragon black’. At others, we can barely bring ourselves to come out from under the duvet. It is no use exhorting our unenthusiastic selves to ‘stop idling’ or ‘get going’. All that tends to do is to induce feelings of guilt or failure. Instead, we have to trust (which is faith by another name). Lent is not working out quite as we hoped or intended, but provided we don’t put up any deliberate obstacles to grace, it is working out as the Lord intended. Just going on despite our failures and backslidings — what monastics call perseverance — is what counts. We have to make a daily leap of faith, almost without realising what we are doing. It may not be a very large or brave one, but it will be enough to set us on the road to salvation, to Easter joy and bliss. Be encouraged!

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10 thoughts on “A Leap of Faith”

  1. Definitely needed those words of encouragement at this stage in Lent when early backsliding creates so much guilt. Perseverance will be my Thought for the Day. Thank you, Dame Catherine 🙂

  2. Thanks. Very encouraging, in particular the reminder that Lent (Perhaps life in general?) will work out as God intended. I do take the point that we are to avoid deliberate obstacles. One failing I have is convincing myself that either they are not obstacles at all or that I did not put them there. More work needed – but at least I have an encouraging start!

  3. Thank you for the encouragement! Years ago I practised strong fasting in Lent but then I’ve realized that this caused me only nastiness, and too much proudness. So I understood that perhaps this wasn’t what God intended for me, and this year I fast a little less and try to read bible (book of Ezekiel) more!

  4. Thank you – I’m working through the Spiritual Exercises (Protestant, so this is new to me!) and missed my prayer time yesterday. Started the day feeling guilty so these words of grace were timely and welcome.

  5. I know I shouldn’t compare, but you’re all ‘being more lent’ than me, that’s for sure. Way it’s going just now, is life as usual with extra work stress. How do people make space for making extra effort?

    I am getting a good dose of care and support from my colleagues, though, so perhaps the actual lent-learning is to be more open to help and kindness when offered….

    • Never compare! It’s easy to sound as though one is being more fervent than the next person but the reality is often quite different. To accept help isn’t easy for most of us, so thank God . . . and just get on with it. 🙂

  6. Oh goodness! I have been so grumpy and cheesed off today that it’s a miracle that no-one has bitten my head off! (before I managed to bite theirs off!). Perhaps the best thing is to say a heartfelt sorry to God, go to sleep and pray for renewal tomorrow? Many thanks for your thoughts, Sr Catherine, which always help me to put things into perspective…..and smile…even if it’s a rather wry smile (my failing…not yours!!). Blessings on all at Howton Grove Priory…..2 and 4 legs xxx

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