Lent: An Invitation to Lay Aside Some Things and Pick Up Others

Lent is an invitation to conversion. And whatever else it involves, conversion involves giving up some things and taking up others.

Last week I posted a podcast of the opening talk I gave at a women’s weekend Lent retreat at St. Ignatius early in March. At the Saturday morning session of that retreat, I gave a talk on giving over and taking up. My staring point was Mary, because I think her life offers a way to reflect on what conversion asks of us. I spoke of what Mary was asked to give up…and what she took up by her acceptance of God’s invitation to be part of his plan for salvation.

Then I spoke about some of the things we are asked to give up as part of our own processes of conversion: our notion that our own individual plan is the guide for our lives, a sense of being settled, and cleanly and comfortabley fitting in. Finally, I talked about some of the things we are asked to pick up, which, while seemingly more attractive than the things we are asked to give up, are things we struggle with nonetheless.

Although I taped several of the talks I gave during that retreat, my recorder ran out of batteries during this talk. I finally had a chance yesterday to record a version of the talk. You can stream it from the icon below or can download it here. (Remember that you can also subscribe to Creo en Dios! podcasts on iTunes.)