Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | March 24, 2023

Congregation Update: Directions in Lent

Blog|The Rev. Canon Mary Carter Greene

We must confine ourselves to the present moment without taking thought for the one before or the one to come… so that stirrings of Grace can be followed; so that God can direct us.

Dear Grace Family,

This counsel from Jean Pierre de Caussade in the spiritual classic The Sacrament of the Present Moment, offers a contemplative understanding of what God is doing in us, speaking to us through what happens to us moment by moment.

Our Seniors with Grace group is just back from a retreat at Bishop’s Ranch, where we indulged in this practice, quieting down and listening to ourselves and the inspiration in each other. Under the wonderful guidance of the Rev. Margaret Deeths, we enjoyed three days of exploration around the topic of the ordinary Saints we have known—the people who made differences in the moment-to-moment of our lives. It was a wonderful chance for us to reflect on the blessings we know and grow together as a community at our fabulous diocesan retreat center in Healdsburg.

The Lenten season is a rare gift that the church year offers us to practice the sort of spiritual quieting de Caussade and all the contemplatives describe that can attune us in this way as well. In calling us to metanoia, the season invites us to slow down, quiet down, look not outward but inward, and turn to the message that God is offering us.

I hope you find this true and that your practices and prayer this Lenten season reveal, as Julian of Norwich said, “things hidden and the things longed for.” With that clarity of vision, I pray you are looking toward Holy Week and the Easter season with hope and inspiration.

Curious about ways to quiet down? Our contemplative practices group meets this Sunday at 1 pm in the Chapel of Grace. Join us for a conversation about Christian Meditation and a brief practice of it.

Interested in connecting with other people more closely at Grace Cathedral? Join a small group. Online and in-person groups will meet around different interests and topics beginning in May. Stay tuned for details.

Your clergy team has you on our hearts these final weeks of Lent especially. We have been praying for you individually and mailing out cards to let you know this. Check your mailbox soon for a message from us.

Finally, thank you to the Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus, my colleagues, congregants, and friends who made the installation yesterday possible. What an honor. It was the moment of a lifetime!

With great gratitude and every blessing,

Mary Carter

The Rev. Canon Mary Carter Greene

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