Posted by: soniamain | March 13, 2012

Sanctuary Lent Blog post 4- Damien

I like tradition.

I like the fact at certain times of year there are rituals that remind us of our collective past and cultural heritage.

On All Hallow’s Eve there are often Jack O Lantern’s decorating the fronts of houses. Originally these were placed on the gateposts of houses and other thresholds to ward off evil spirits.
 
When I see them, I feel connected, like I’m not completely cut off from the past, not  marooned in the present. But that I can still access the wisdom of generations before me, something bigger than my attempts to make sense of life. When life, although in many ways scarier and inherently less secure, was somehow more profound and meaningful.
 
Christmas is another such time for me, although horribly distorted as a festival, it is still a time when one can think of the 100s of years of celebrations and the many generations who have been involved in them. I don’t feel so alone, but that the world is imbuded with significance, even if fleetingly – a significance I don’t impose upon it.
 
During Lent we are reminded, however tentatively, that life is not all about survival. As the early monastics knew so well, we need tradition, rhythm, seasons. Unproductivity. A sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves. And above all – to trust.
 
 
‘Man does not live by bread alone.’
 
I’ve given up chocolate – how about you?

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Responses

  1. Thanks Damien, I think learning to trust can be so hard, particularly when you like to be in control ( like me!). Your phrase “A sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves” is an important one. I’d started lent trying to be more hopeful, this can be so hard when friends around me are struggling so much, but hanging on to that sense of us all being part if something bigger, feels really important.

  2. wow, like it Damien, I know like the magical feeling season’s bring, as songs are sung again, cards & cakes & scents of special cooking. a guy at church explained the Celtic cross format of many city’s, the circular wall surrounding like God’s love surrounds, St Stephen’s church (in many city’s) just outside the wall, as St Stephen was murdered outside the city. Special gateways designed to welcome the traveller, candle’s left alight for the pilgrim.

    that’s something Narnia captured for me

    and yes it does quickly remind me that we are part of something God made, rather than the consumerists com-modified world we’re told we need to aspire to.

    I didn’t give up choc’s, or beer, or T.V., but I’m trying to give myself a little time to be, to sleep, to be in the sun, to see the trees budding with spring buds. Lent awakens my love for those I care about, as it focuses my mind on the meaning of everything

    & how much I appreciate the opportunity to belong to this, this little group, Sanctuary. thank you


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