Lenten Season is a time for personal reflection. A time to embrace love, love of Christ, love of self, love of neighbor. We nurture the inner spirit with intention. We serve others. We give to the needy. We seek the truth, our truth, within.
2/27/2020-Our church is reading this devotional for Lent. From the first lines my mind was drawn to meditate on loving myself and showing myself grace & mercy as I take this journey. The author writes, “We learn at an early age to despise the beauty of our dusty humanity, our creatureliness, our limitations.” I grasped, instead of being taught to love who we are, the message often becomes, why we are not lovable. This Lent, I am committed to exploring why I sometimes feel that I am not enough. I have to accept, God loves me. Wow, me!.
My mentor, friend, teacher was also the one who ignited my quest to discover a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, Archbishop Mar Enoch Ashe. I can remember the first time that I had the opportunity to ask him a question. We were sitting at a close family friends dinner table. We had left a retreat in the San Bernadino mountains and he came back to the house to eat and talk. After hours of converstion on various topics I asked a question about worship. I guess in many ways I was like the women at the well. I knew how I was taught to worship but my question was more an inquiry about how we should. That evening changed my life. Several years later, I relocated to sit under this master teacher. I learned how little I knew as I walked through early Christianity and discovered the Eastern Church. My journey led to the discovery of the Didache’ and Orthodoxy. What a journey we had.
Today, I take the final lessons that he taught me from his hospital bed and watch them come to life as I practice Christian mysticism, wisdom teachings, contemplation, and silence. I consider myself a modern day mystic. He unveiled a revolutionary revelation , ‘the proximity of the kingdom’, sharing that after preaching since he was 13 years old and traveling all over the world, he had finally encountered Christ. Not in the big churches or small store fronts but in a homeless man who had given him a blanket when after loosing everything, he was sleeping in the park.