Spiritual Direction

A Lenten Invitation

Lent is coming!

Lent is one of the retreat spaces in the liturgical year. A time to reflect, nurture our internal selves, and pause.

Traditionally, it has been a time of fasting. You might have heard of it as people “give up” chocolate. A dear non-smoking, tee-totalling friend used to joke each year that she was going to give up cigarettes and alcohol.

It has become helpful to us to not make major decisions during Lent. That has been a fast that has brought great spiritual fruit.

We also pray the prayer of Ephrem (a 4th century Syrian Orthodox believer) each day in Lent. The most popular title for Ephrem is “the Harp of the Spirit.” He loved to write hymns and his prayer may help our spirits, our lives, to sing!

O Lord and Master of my life
remove from me the spirit of sadness,
despair, thirst for power and vain talk.

Instead, grant me, Your servant,
the spirit of prudence, humility,
patience and love

Indeed, O Lord and King,
grant that I see my own sins
and not judge my sister or my brother,
for You are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen

Through Lent this year, we’ll be providing a “Lenten Retreat in Daily Living” over in our Patreon Faith at Home community (https://www.patreon.com/FaithatHome). Each week there will be a video available for everyone and additional resources for subscribers. We’ll press pause on stress for a few minutes and soak in a retreat.

So you are invited to take a Lenten Journey this year. And if we can be your companions on that journey, we would be so grateful!


If we pay attention to our desires, they can point us toward what matters most to us.

If we pay attention to our desires, they can point us toward what matters most to us.

I see a Spiritual Director regularly. I am so grateful for a dedicated space to tell the stories of what is happening in my relationship with the Divine Family and explore how my everyday life impacts my faith, and my faith impacts my everyday life.

This month, my Spiritual Director read these words of Patrick Carroll’s to me, “If I can really discover what I want at the deep level, God wants exactly that. God is creating me out of my desire and my moving toward that.”

Could it really be true that the desires planted deep within our hearts, souls, cores, are planted there by the Divine Family and that we can listen together to those desires?

As we listened together, Director and Seeker in companionship with the Life-giving Spirit, something reverberated inside me. An Ancient Poet in the Psalms said that the Divine gives us the desires of our hearts. I’ve come to believe that the Ancient Poet didn’t mean that the Divine gives us whatever we want, whatever we set our minds on, but rather, that the Divine plants seeds of desire in the deepest parts of us that will call us into meaningful relationship with the Divine.

But when my Director set me a repetition spiritual exercise of “sitting in prayer” with my desires, I was pleasantly shocked. What fruit might this exercise bear?

Repetition is an Ignatian way of returning to an exercise again and again, to go a little deeper, to weave the practice into daily life, to get so comfortable in the practice that the mind relaxes and the spirit opens.

As I sit with my desires I hear

…deep wanting for still time to soak up the love of the Divine

…a heart cry for rhythms of work, celebration and rest

…a longing for home, family, belonging and meaningful connection

…a call towards time to nourish my relationship with my spouse

…an honest to goodness desire to parent my children with loving presence

…and gratitude for the hope of work that blends together my heart cries to support people in their relationship with Divine and provision for our family’s needs

What matters to you at the centre of your being?

Can you believe that God is not against your deepest desires but for them?

Where are you sharing your sacred story?

All the best to you, Jennifer