Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Lenten Book Club!
During these six weeks of Lent, we are reading and reflecting on the classic on prayer, Pray To Your Father in Secret by Jean Lafrance. For more information about the book club, visit this blog post.
Week 3, Chapter 2 - The Way of Salvation
The world changed when God sent his son to become part of it; we have, in the process, become part of God, and he of us. We need to focus, daily, on a constant awareness of that presence.
Our relationship with God is what makes us aware of our sinfulness and of the presence of evil in the world. Before we can even acknowledge and identify our sins, we must enter into prayer. Otherwise, whom are we sinning against? Sin is a rift in our relationships, and the relationship must be there before we can have sorrow for our sins. True conversion makes all of that clear to us, and our response to it is what will guide our decisions.
The closer we are to God, the more we are aware of the power of evil. We see it every day, yet we don’t call it by its name. The closer we become to God, the more starkly we’ll see Satan’s work in the world and in people’s hearts. Jesus is wholly open; Satan has closed in on himself.
Once we’ve opened ourselves to God, then the weight of our sin and of the distance it’s put between us and God will be overwhelming. This is where we must start: from this place of being overwhelmed, of being broken. And yet even within that brokenness is light, because we know that no matter how great our sin, it is forgiven.
For Reflection & Discussion
- How can you focus on a daily awareness of the presence of God in your heart? How can you practice mindfulness every day amid your many obligations and distractions?
- Why do you confess your sins? What role does sin play in your relationship with God?
- How might God be calling you in your life and your circumstances to live out the merger of action and contemplation that Fr. LaFrance talks about here?
- How do you make life-decisions now? Do you integrate God’s will into that process?
We invite you to share your insights and answers to these questions
in the comments area below.
Lenten reading plan:
Week 1 Introduction and Preface
Week 2 The God of Dialogue
Week 3 The Way of Salvation
Week 4 The Working Out of Salvation
Week 5 The Dialogue with God
Week 6 Conclusion
Study Guide written by Jeannette de Beauvoir. © 2017 Daughters of St. Paul. All rights reserved.
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