Today’s first entry in the Lent 2015 devotional series by Trinity School for Ministry is very solid – a simple, but important reminder on the danger of trusting in our own efforts to please God through our penitence, fasting, or other spiritual disciplines. Here’s a quote I found very helpful, as well as the closing prayer
Repentance is the foundation of our joy. Our penitence is not for God’s sake. He doesn’t need it; we do. We do it to be reminded who we really are: sinners, undeserving of God’s mercy, yet – mysteriously and wonderfully – the recipients of it!
Let us pray that God would give us a good and fruitful Lent, making known to us, in deeper and richer ways, the inexhaustible mystery of his mercy.
Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power and idle chatter. Rather grant to me, your servant, the Spirit of integrity, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own sins and not judge my brothers and sisters; for you are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (St. Ephrem of Edessa)