By Kelly Wahlquist
Every year, Lent holds out the opportunity for a spiritual “cleanse”—a chance to open our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to shine a light into dark corners, expose sin and pain, and offer them up for forgiveness and healing.
One time-honored custom that harnesses the power of God’s word to “read” hearts in this way is praying the seven “Penitential Psalms.” All psalms help us express emotion and turn our hearts to God, but the Penitential Psalms help us recognize sin, offer up our sorrow, and ask for God’s forgiveness.
There is an amazing history within our Catholic Church with these Psalms. From the earliest days of the Church, Christians prayed Psalm 51 every morning. Four of the Penitential Psalms were so meaningful to St. Augustine that he posted them by his bed and recited them daily for the 10 days leading up to his death. Today, we pray these psalms during times of repentance.
During Lent, the season of repentance, what could be more cleansing than to turn to these Penitential Psalms, as we enter the desert with our Lord and walk with Him during His Passion?
WINE invites you to join Sarah Christmyer, Catholic author and co-developer of the popular The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study Program, as we set aside 10 minutes a day to ponder one of these Psalms each week of Lent. We will be using Sarah’s new book, Create in Me a Clean Heart, to allow the Word of God to soak into our hearts and move us toward a fresh, new start at Easter.
Joining us on this Lenten journey is simple:
1) Purchase Create in Me a Clean Heart: Ten Minutes a Day in the Penitential Psalms. It is available on Amazon in Kindle format for 99 cents or as a paperback for $6.95.
2) Sign up to receive our Lenten Offering emails from Sarah each week. She will invite us into the process of lectio divina and encourage us in our prayer along the way.
We will begin this Monday, Feb. 8, with a special invitation from Sarah. From the introduction of Create in Me a Clean Heart: “Ultimately, the word of God is not a book but a person who loves us and longs to connect with us on an intimate spiritual level. Take the opportunity Lent provides to offer up just 1% of your waking hours to get to know God: Take 10-15 minutes a day … get away from it all … open your heart … and listen for his voice.”
We hope you will join us on this spiritually cleansing journey this Lent. To sign up for WINE’s Lenten Offering, click HERE.
More About Sarah Christmyer:
Sarah Christmyer is a Catholic author, Bible teacher, and speaker with a special love for lectio divina and journaling as ways to draw close to Christ in Scripture. She is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study Program and author or co-author of many of the studies. Sarah is an adjunct faculty member at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where she teaches Scripture to men in their Spiritual Year. Sarah also blogs at her website, Come Into the Word.