Sacred Space Lent 2024: Gratitude In All Things

Join us in Sacred Space as we journey together through Lent, praying each day with scripture and reflecting on how we can make gratitude part of our daily lives. By taking a few extra minutes in our day to remind ourselves how completely loveable and approachable our God is, we will open our hearts to His lessons. Lent is a perfect time to renew our faith, hope, and love, and to focus on what matters most in life. May this simple retreat bless everyone who prays with it, and remind us that we are part of the Sacred Space family, united in prayer and thanks with brothers and sisters all over the world. 

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On a practical note…

To avoid duplicating the daily prayers and reflections based the Gospel of the day, this retreat will have daily prayers and reflections from the scriptures that speak to our Lenten theme of Gratitude.

The retreat can take as little as 3-5 minutes, or 15-20 minutes, or more, depending on how much time you have, and how deeply you want to enter into prayer. If you have the time and the inclination, we encourage you to spend as long as you can with anything that jumps out for you from the reflections or the scriptures themselves. Stay with those words and let them settle deeply into your heart, mind, and soul. You might like to take notes or keep a journal. Perhaps you’ll stay with one word or phrase that resonates most strongly with you. Or come back to the prayers of a previous day, and stay with those for a few days. Or stay with the words or scripture of a particular day and meditate on them for as long as you feel you need. There are no rules. Listen to your heart and do what is right for you. It won’t matter if you miss a couple of days. Whether you join us from the beginning or go back and catch up, it’s up to you. 

We begin our journey of gratitude …

For many, Lent is a time of sacrifice. We give up our favourite food or drink. We try to break a habit or change some behaviour. We stop doing something. 

But what if, instead of stopping, we were to START doing something? 

What if we were to start being consciously grateful every day? Every day. No matter how desperate we felt. No matter how much we despair. No matter how difficult times are. Would it make a difference? Yes! Yes, it would. 

Pope Francis said: “Let us not forget to thank: if we are bearers of gratitude, the world itself will become better, even if only a little bit, but that is enough to transmit a bit of hope. The world needs hope. And with gratitude, with this habit of saying thank you, we transmit a bit of hope.”

The world seems to be spiralling out of control. Our newsfeeds and media relate one harrowing story after another. Wars. Famine. Hunger. Poverty. Murder. Intolerance. Racism. Hatred. When we think it can’t get any worse, it does. If ever the world needed hope, it is now. 

And if we, by the simple and sustained act of being grateful, can transmit a little bit of that hope, wouldn’t that be wonderful? Wouldn’t that be a good use of the life God has given to us?    

Picture this. Picture waking up tomorrow morning with only those people and things you gave thanks for today. What would your world look like? Empty? Dismal? Or full of great people and good things? It’s your call. 

This retreat gives a few hints for prayerful reflection on a chosen scripture for each day during Lent. Readings from both the Old and New Testaments help focus our mood and thoughts on gratitude. It also offers a daily challenge to be grateful, truly grateful, for something, no matter how small. From this place of gratitude, we can come together to create a better tomorrow.

About the author

On 9 January 2012, Mary Murphy started writing Grateful 52, a series of weekly blog posts about what she is grateful for. Having seen the remarkable effect of the conscious practice of gratitude in her life and wanting to share the good news with a wider audience, she collated these scriptures for this Sacred Space Lenten retreat and wrote the reflections. She is grateful to be part of the Sacred Space community. See more of her work here: Grateful 52

The first day of the retreat will be available on Tuesday the 13th of February/Wednesday the 14th of February, to take into account all time zones.