Matthew Kelly of Dynamic Catholic writes "we become the books that we read." Do you agree? Why or why not?
My commitment to read for 21 minutes everyday in 2021, means I will be reading a lot of books. Some books find me and others I seek out. Each one leaves a mark, a new perspective and a unique point of view. I'm curious to know—who then, will I become?
I believe I can ask this question in good faith because this routine: #21 for 2021 is working. Ask me to read in the late afternoon or early evening and the odds are I will probably fall asleep. But I have begun most everyday since January 1, 2021 with my timer in hand and 21 minutes on the digital clock; its delightful.
There are however other routines that still get away from me. I don't make a regular time for prayer, stretching or even tidying up my physical and mental space. Perhaps there is a way to integrate all three. But, given what I have learned about myself from the #21 for 2021, I decided this Lent that I would give all of four minutes to morning prayer—either before or after reading. I created an acronym to guide me in this pursuit and hope you will join me.
The article "Why We Pray, Fast and Give Alms During Lent," helps us remember why this spiritual discipline is at the heart of all Lenten traditions. Our Sunday Visitor writes,
Throughout the season of Lent, we are called to deepen our prayer life. For some of us, this means beginning a habit of daily prayer, setting aside time each day to share our hopes, joys, fears and frustrations with God. Praying first thing in the morning, while the house is still quiet, or talking to God while on your commute to work are simple ways to integrate prayer into everyday life. Praying the Rosary, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or attending a daylong silent retreat may bring you to new places in your relationship with God.
So let this be the first thing you do in the morning. If your house is not quiet, find a space that is. Spring is inching closer; so you might be able to offer this prayer outside. Pray at time that works for you. It's all of four minutes—one minute for each letter. Sports fans can refer to it as 4 for 40 days. Peace.
The L.E.N.T. prayer
L is for light….Ask God to be with you in prayer, to offer's God's light into your life and your day. Let God's light illuminate how God is working in your life—reaching out to you, communicating with you and loving you.
E is for Ego or Error…Ask God to eliminate the Ego and the errors that prevent you from being your best self. In what ways do pride and your ego prevent you from loving others, yourself and even God.
N is for nature… Bring to mind a part of nature you may have observes or appreciated in the past 24 hours. Maybe you were grateful for the sound of rain. Perhaps you felt the sun shining on your back. Did you see the color green? The blue of the Ocean? Give thanks to Our Creator God.
T is for trust…. Trust God. Ask God to help you trust. Consider what is holding you back? Consider what you may gain by trusting and loving God more.
Good and gracious God, thank you for your light. Help me when my ego gets in the way of being the best version of myself. I'm grateful for the world you have created. Help me to trust you always. Amen