Lenten Meditation: March 1, 2013

Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Felicia Roper.

Meals at the abbey are mostly silent. Breakfast and supper are self-serve and eaten in complete silence regardless of how many guests are present. Also at dinner, which is served in the middle of the day, the guests are silent. However, Sister Mary John, the Guest Sister, read to us as we ate this midday meal. We had known of this plan and I had expected that she would read Scripture to us. Instead she chose a wonderful book she deemed appropriate for the average guest, Finding Sanctuary; Monastic Steps for Everyday Life by Abbot Christopher Jamison. She was right.

In one of the readings, Abbot Jamison suggests we are all looking for sanctuary, which has two definitions. One is sacred space and the other is a refuge away from something. In today’s culture, he says, people tend to look for the second kind of sanctuary because we want to get away from our hectic, over-scheduled lives. In fact, says the Abbot, what we really need is the first—a sacred space that accompanies us every day rather than a place we go to for refuge or retreat from the world. We use hobbies and vacations to “get away,” which means, he suggests, that we use the consumer culture to get away from the consumer culture. It provides a change of scenery, but seldom meets our true need for any length of time.

Today reflect on how you might create that first definition of sanctuary in your day-to-day life. Is there a room in your home, a corner of your yard, a place in nature, or an inner quietness that can accompany you daily? Could your calling during this Lent be to find such a place in order to nurture your soul?


This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.

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