Lent 1 – Monday – Getting Connected

Knitting Idea:  Cables.  I happen to love cabling so I think I’ll cable for a bit and then go on to something else.  If you haven’t cabled before – try it!  If you are a real beginner try a basket stitch (Instructions here)  In the video on basket stitch the woman uses 6 stitches but you can use 4 or any number you want.  Refuse to be frustrated with the knitting.  Get creative!  Branch out!  Do what you want.

Pattern abbreviations:  C4F (Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold them in front of work, K2 and then K2 stitches from the cable needle- video instructions here) RC2/2 (Slip 2 purl stitches onto the cable needle and hold in back of work, K2, P2 stitches from the cable needle) LC2/2 (Slip next two knit stitches onto the cable needle, P2 then knit the stitches from the cable needle) C4B (Slip 2 stitches to the cable needle, hold them in back of work, K2, then K2 stitches from the cable needle

Row 1: K1,P1,K1,P1(seed stitch edge) P4, C4F, P4, C4F, P2, RC2/2, LC2/2, P2, C4B, P4, C4B, P1,K1,P1,K1

Row 2:  K1,P1,K1,P1,  P4, K4, P4,  K2, P2, K4, P2, K2, P4, K4, P4, K4,  P1,K1,P1,K1

Row 3:  K1,P1,K1,P1,  P4, K4, P4, K4 ,P2, K2, P4, K2, P2, K4, P4, K4,  P1,K1,P1,K1

Row 4:  same as Row 2

Reflection:

My heart is heavy with the news from Florida.  We need to figure out what action to take in response to these horrible events.  I’m encouraged that these students are taking some action to keep this issue in front of all of us.  My prayer is to ask God, what can I do about this in my corner of the world.  What action can I take?

And now a few words about how prayer works for me.

There is no wrong way to pray just as there is no wrong way to create whatever you are creating during this knit along.  Countless experts and mystics have written about prayer.  Benedictines consider their work (no matter what it is) as a form of prayer.  Prayer is a way we are in relationship with God.

I sit in prayer and usually nothing happens. Sometimes, I’ll get an idea but mostly it is jus a nice comfortable silence.  It used to be much harder, my mind would just gallop from thought to thought.  My Russian Orthodox Spiritual Director would say, “You can’t help the thoughts that come into your head, they are like birds landing on a tree branch, but you don’t have to let them build a nest.”  It was a great image for me.  I shoo the thoughts away or I write them down if they are important.  I don’t let them build a nest.  I don’t follow the “what if” roads like “what if my grandchild was in that High School in Florida.” These are not helpful thoughts.  Instead I ask God to give the families left behind the strength they need to meet the days ahead and pray for guidance for myself.  What can I personally do to make things better?  But usually, I have no answers in that moment.  So I sit.  I pray for others, I pray and ask guidance about different situations, I ask for help with my own problems, and sometimes I just sit wondering how to really connect.

But we are connected to God.  We are wrapped like the stitches of a cable.  We wait on God sitting on the cable needle, putting God’s stitches ahead of us.  When we get knit into the pattern we are intertwined making something beautiful.   Things happen in my life when I pray regularly.  Nothing really happens during the prayer but the rest of my life changes.  Ideas come easier, there is a heightened state of creativity, relationships improve, there is a heightened awareness of God’s presence, and everything seems just a little bit different, just a little bit better, and there is an ultimate feeling of wholeness.  Prayer helps us align ourselves with God’s will.  When we are aligned, we are better able to see those moments of grace that are happening all around us.

The Prayer:

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully increase in us your gifts of holy discipline, in almsgiving, prayer, and fasting: that our lives may be directed to the fulfilling of your most gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever.  AMEN!

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