Once again, Lent snuck up on me. We’re already a week into the season, and I’m still casting about for a way to mark this special time. As I sat at my computer, staring into space and wondering what to write for this blog, I remembered a practice offered by a publication of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet several years ago. It’s a quiet, gentle and yet profound way to be in the world and I decided this would be my practice this season. I share it with you in hopes it may be fruitful for you as well.
There is an ancient form of prayer called benevolent gazing. It is a wordless prayer and consists merely in looking with love wherever we look – at morning rising in ribbons, at neighborhood streets, at sun peeking through clouds. Most of all, it means to look with love into human faces, those close to us whose every frown and smile we know, and those whose face we see but once this side of heaven. Bathe the mail carrier, the grocery store check-out clerk, your partner, your neighbor, fellow drivers, and all you see with the benevolence of your caring.
Pray with your eyes today. Bless the day freely given you and all manner of people you see wherever you go. Bless every gift this day of, O amazing grace. When night comes, sit a little with your heart and the blessing eyes of God.
Diane Gardner is a certified spiritual director and a Commissioned Minister for Spiritual Direction in the United Church of Christ. She is Sacred Ground’s teacher coordinator. She welcomes new people to her spiritual direction practice and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org