My Ash Wednesday church going was spontaneous. I was driving home from work and thought, Yes, Now. I turned left instead of right and arrived at the chapel at St. Edward’s about five minutes after the service started. Many of you may not have decided what your Lenten practice will be, the priest told us. In fact, many of us on staff here haven’t decided either. He read a list of Pope Frances’s 10 tips for Lent. (If we ever needed confirmation that this is a modern Pope, offering a list of 10 tips is it.) Pray. Fast. Help the poor. Do something that hurts. I listened. I considered. And I looked around the beautiful, light-filled chapel with its bleached wood pews and high white ceilings. I exhaled. Church. It was the first church service I’d attended since I was on the Camino. And church, I understood, was my practice for Lent. Each Sunday a different church, praying for the possibility of a church home. This week it was All Saints, near the UT campus. The priest pondered the meaning of the word “so,” the tiniest word of John 3:16, and perhaps the one on which it all hinges.
March 15, 2015