Saturday after Ash Wednesday
In our culture which can be so self-conscious and self-evaluating, it can be hard to know what this means and even harder to trust it as true wisdom. Having this kind of attitude about giving often seems to conflict with the virtues of our society. Too often, we can stay locked in self-fixation as self-conscious givers who give but can’t actually let go of the gift they are giving. Every true act of giving becomes a vehicle for giving of ourselves. When we have received this kind of gift from others, we have a immediate experience of how the nature of the gift is not measured by the object given. Rather, the giving of the gift transforms us by awakening the desire and the capacity to give ourselves. This giving is at the heart of the mystery of God’s lovingkindness – God’s grace – into which we prepare to enter more deeply in Lent.
It has been said that the best preparation for prayer is the habit of making small acts of kindness. Giving to others, unsolicited, and not expecting anything in return is the heart of such behavior. It can be as small as a smile and a thank you to a tired bus driver or restroom cleaner. Such giving – which prayer seeks to train us for – brings a warm light into a drab and dreary world.
‘If you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.”
Source: Rector’s Blog