By Heart: A Lenten Prayer Project
This time four years ago, as I was getting ready to be confirmed Catholic at Easter Vigil 2012, I decided to memorize the entire Nicene Creed by writing out one single line every morning, and contemplating on that one line throughout the day until I knew the whole thing by heart. I not only learned every word of the Creed, I also began to learn the depth and richness of what each word truly means.
I've decided to do something similar this Lent, because it's four years later, and I'm now a wee Catholic woman who can recite the Creed like a boss, but still hasn't memorized a single Act of Contrition prayer. (Those are the ones we say during Confession.) Every time I approach a confessional, I get a little nervous that there won't be anything in there for me to read off of. And since we go to Confession by ourselves, it's not like we can just whisper, "Watermelon watermelon watermelon," under our breaths like we can while surrounded by so many word-knowing Catholics during Mass. (Note: I said we can, not we should.) So I'm thinking it's probably about time for me to learn one of those, eh?
This Lent, I'm inviting you to join me in taking 40 days to learn--whether for the first time, or in a deeper way--some of the most important prayers of the Church. We'll be starting with an Act of Contrition (very appropriate for getting into Lent mode), and then we'll go through the entire Nicene Creed, line by line. By subscribing to the mailing list, you'll get an email from me each day of Lent (except for Sundays, of course) containing the one single line of prayer to focus on that day. Then, it's up to you how to make that line a part of your entire day, and you can get creative! Make it your home screen, share it on social, write it on your bathroom mirror, meditate on it while driving, look up the history of the prayer, find commentaries, make coloring pages and involve your kids, etc. Whatever works as we each ask the Holy Spirit to teach us importance of every word we pray as a Church. By the end of Lent, you will not just know both of these prayers by memory, you'll know them by heart.
Everyone is welcome to participate--Catholic or otherwise. Emails will begin Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016, and end on Holy Saturday, March 26, 2016.
You in? Good. Here are the prayers we'll be learning: