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Lent and Well-being: Ash Wednesday

February 13, 2013
J. Stone and Darren McCallig

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In a 2010 Ash Wednesday sermon, the Rev Darren McCallig talks about sin and self-examination in a thought-provoking way. Referencing Barbara Brown Taylor, the American priest and author, he says this:

 

 

The trick is to identify what sin is for you, to really know yourself. And to do this, she says, you look for the experience that makes part of you die.

 

Look for the experience that makes part of you die.

Look for the things you do which make you a smaller person than you know you really are.

 

Look for the experience that makes part of you die.

Look for the habits in your life that make you a less generous, a less forgiving, a less compassionate person than what God wants you to be.

 

Look for the experience that makes part of you die.

Look for the things you do that kill your joy and your peace and replace them with bitterness and anger.

 

Look for the experience that makes part of you die.

 

We have a tradition of giving up and/or taking up something during Lent, and sometimes it can be difficult to choose our ‘punishment’, so to speak. Wine again this year, or chocolate? Definitely not coffee.

 

What if we extend this concept of death, and its correlative, life, to our Lenten discipline? What if we ask:

What’s life-reducing, life-distracting, life-sapping in our daily routines? And give that up.

And what’s life-nourishing, life-creating, life-sustaining that’s missing from our daily routines?

And take that up.

 

How does your Lenten discipline this year relate to your sense of well-being in body, mind and spirit?


J. Stone and Darren McCallig
The Rev Darren McCallig is Dean of Residence and Chaplain at Trinity College Dublin.


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