Lent is one of my favorite seasons of the Church year because of the emphasis is on introspection and giving one’s self over to God. The tradition of fasting—denying ourselves something in order to focus our faith and our spiritual life on Christ—during Lent presents an opportunity for us to examine our lives and become aware of the things, or habits, in our lives that have taken up space, cluttered our days, taken our attention away from the things that are necessary and important in our lives like relationships; with God, with one another and with
ourselves. In other words, Lent offers us an opportunity to empty ourselves—and to be emptied and hollowed out—in order to create sacred space within us for God to dwell.
We are not at ease with emptiness. We often seek to fill our empty spaces with things that we feel with make us feel good, or feel better about ourselves and our lives. The truth is that many of things that fill us are healthy and good, but there also many things that are not. We often fill ourselves with the “empty calories” of material wealth, success, having the perfect life, etc. things that distract us from our relationship with God and leave us feeling a little spiritually sick.
Through prayer and devotion and fasting we are invited to empty ourselves and we invite God to empty us—to hollow us out—of the things that are not good for us.
It can be a painful process—this emptying—because it is painful to let go of the things we turn to for comfort and meaning; and yet, we need to be empty in order to be filled.
As we begin the journey with Christ to the cross, I invite you to empty yourself of the things that weigh you down and hurt you and to make space for God to grow a new thing in you.
I come to you.
I am afraid of the emptiness.
Hollowed out I search to fill myself with things that make me forget, avoid, ignore.
And still—a yawning, open, emptiness.
Make sacred this open space.
Hallow my hollowness.
Consecrate this stillness.
That I may be a dwelling place for your Spirit—a bearer of your love.
That I may be…filled.
Peace and Namaste,