When I was a young girl, I can remember walking to school and seeing my full-life reflection in the store windows along Fullerton Avenue in Chicago. It was like looking at a moving picture of myself, and I was fascinated. You see, we didn’t have a full-length mirror in our flat. We had only a small mirror on our medicine cabinet in the bathroom and a larger mirror in the living room. Oh, yes…there was also the mirror on my mother’s dresser that always fascinated me. But none of them would reflect back my whole body!
As I would pass by the butcher and baker and candy shop, I would pretend to look at the displays in their windows. But what I was really doing was simply looking at my reflection in the plate glass and gazing at the young girl in front of me. She often seemed mysterious. Sometimes she was playful and would make faces back at me. At other times she’d wave her arms and legs as if to get my attention.
Sometimes I feel like that little girl again. I want to stop and look at my reflection, and to see myself with the eyes of my heart.
This Lent, I play to gaze deeply at my sacred reflection, and ask myself the question: “What do I behold?” This is not to engage in narcissistic practice, but to observe a Holy Lent.
From the Book of Common Prayer: “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” p. 265
To help me with this spiritual practice, I am going to follow the wisdom and guidance of Spiritual Director Sibyl Dana Reynolds as outlined in her spiritual guidebook: “The Way of Belle Coeur.” It was just released in January 2016 and is now available on amazon.com.
In Chapter/Book VIII of her book, “Illumination, Co-Creation, and the Sacred Imagination,” Sibyl Reynolds offers inspirational messages and spiritual practices to help us discover sacred mysteries. To quote Sibyl: “Behold what is all around you. Illuminate your sacred faculty of vision with prayer.” (From her book “Ink and Honey,” p. 48.)
I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery during this holy season of Lent. All you would need is a copy of “The Way of Belle Coeur,” a journal, and an open mind and heart. Blessings as together we gaze upon our sacred reflections.