Episode 42 – How to do Lent

Man praying Episode 42

Jake and Brett continue a series on Lent and discuss the value of spiritual disciplines and how to have a fruitful Lent.

Guiding Quotes

“Our most serious failure today is the ability to provide effective, practical guidance as to how to live the life of Jesus.” (Dallas Willard)

Key Points

  • We live under a tyranny of the urgent
  • It’s amazing that the Creator of all things can speak to us personally
  • There are various reasons we struggle to trust that God speaks to us
  • There are practical things we can do that help us do to live like Jesus
  • Going through the motions of Lent isn’t the point of Lent
  • It’s possible to be disciplined and not have a change of heart
  • The goal of Lent is not to be disciplined but to be transformed and have a deepening experience of God the Father and growth in sonship
  • Prayer is where we take time and listen to the Father
  • During prayer we offer our Attention, Time, and Trust (AT&T)
  • Fasting is about making room for the Father
  • Almsgiving is about trust in the Father and being generous; being openhanded
  • Almsgiving is moving into being like the Father (blessing others)
  • Prayer – relationship with the Father, Fasting – room for the Father, Almsgiving trust in and loving like the Father
  • Fasting is about strengthening our will muscle
  • The spiritual disciplines, in the right context, are very good
  • Fasting creates space in our soul for communion with God
  • People who criticize the spiritual disciplines are often those people who don’t do them
  • “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it’s been found difficult and left untried.” (GK Chesterton)
  • We can try a “human experiment,” and give God an amount of time, to see how the spiritual disciplines transform us
  • “For those who say they don’t have time to pray are not short on time, they are short on love” (St. John Paul II)
  • Putting yourself in a posture of utter dependence on God is a key to the spiritual disciplines
  • We don’t know how to pray on our own
  • Prayer is “being there for love to love you” (Ruth Burrows)
  • “Certainly, as the Lord tells us, one can become a source from which rivers of living water flow. Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est 7)
  • Prayer is a necessity
  • The soul of our apostolate is prayer
  • “The external aspects of fasting, though important, do not convey the full measure of the practice. Joined to the practice should be a sincere desire for inner purification, readiness to obey the divine will, and thoughtful solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the poor.” (St. John Paul II)

Discussion Questions

  • What struck you from this episode?
  • How is your Lent going?
  • How & where do you struggle to trust God?
  • What are some excuses you use when it comes to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving?
  • What have been some of your best times/experiences with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving?
  • What do you think and feel about about making yourself utterly dependent on God?