From “Simplifying The Soul, Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit”, by Paula Huston

“The beauty of the Lenten season is that it encourages the development of a humble heart.  In Lent, we are invited to look deeply inside, identifying what is impeding our ability to follow Christ along the path of humility, and begin applying antidotes.  Early church tradition is rich in the wisdom of soul simplification and offers a multitude of spiritual disciplines to counteract the temptations that muddle our lives.  The season of Lent gives us the opportunity to devote significant time to this endeavor.”

“For centuries, humility was seen as a key component of a healthy spiritual life. In more recent times, humility has lost a good deal of status. Instead, we prefer to focus on the development of self-esteem, on achievement, and on self-fulfillment; our temptation is to dismiss humility as a relic of the unsophisticated past, a time when people supposedly knew next to nothing about psychology or good mental health.”

The above is from the introduction of Ms. Huston’s book.  I’m looking forward to begin the actual lessons for each day, beginning Ash Wednesday.

Here’s a brief description from Amazon:

Award-winning author and Benedictine oblate Paula Huston invites readers to de-clutter their minds, hearts, relationships, and souls in a book of daily Lenten practices woven from the gospels, the Desert Fathers, and the author’s own wealth of spiritual experience.

“What are you giving up for Lent this year?” It’s the expected question amongst Christian friends each spring. In Simplifying the Soul, Paula Huston asks her readers a deeper, alternative sort of question: “How will you rid your life of excess this Lent?” Huston encourages readers to see Lent as a time to seek out silence and free themselves of “stuff”; to de-clutter minds, hearts, and lives; and to acknowledge the connections between what they pray about and what they do.

With honesty, vulnerability, and grace, Huston challenges readers to move outward and act, showing them how everyday actions like cleaning out a junk drawer, giving away something no longer used, or spending fifteen minutes in silence can be surprisingly powerful ways of experiencing a more meaningful Lent and a simpler life. Whether cutting up a credit card, visiting someone at the hospital, or forgiving someone with whom they are angry, readers experience, under Huston’s gentle and expert care, how such practices lead to a more authentic Christian faith.

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