Introductory Note:

It’s encouraging to see how God was directing Richard Foster’s spiritual journey, like in this piece from a 1993 Renovaré newsletter.

Renovaré Team

I must tell you of a new exper­i­ment I am in the mid­dle of right now. First, a lit­tle background.

Four times last fall I received the impres­sion that I need­ed a spe­cial per­son­al dis­ci­pline of prayer for that sea­son of the Church year we call Lent. So, last Novem­ber I went through the Gospel of Luke, pick­ing out pas­sages I would med­i­tate upon dur­ing the forty days of Lent. I fol­lowed a four-part struc­ture: ten days exam­in­ing the depth of my sin in the light of God’s immense love, ten days pon­der­ing the radi­ant life of Christ, ten days rumi­nat­ing on the shock­ing death of Christ, and ten days con­tem­plat­ing the glo­ri­ous res­ur­rec­tion of Christ.

Ancient Rhythm

You may rec­og­nize this as the four-part rhythm of Ignatius’ Spir­i­tu­al Exer­cis­es. Through this process I am enter­ing into a deep­er under­stand­ing of my peren­ni­al knack for dis­obe­di­ence and God’s unbound­ed habit of mer­cy. God is giv­ing me a rich­er con­tem­pla­tion upon that Life that shows me the Way. I am enter­ing into a fuller med­i­ta­tion upon that Death that sets me free. And God is bring­ing me into a more pro­found expe­ri­ence of that Res­ur­rec­tion that empow­ers me to obey Christ in all things.

Spe­cial Graces

In each case there are spe­cial graces for which I am pray­ing. As I pon­der my sin, I am pray­ing con­stant­ly for the grace to be bathed in God’s love and to receive his mer­cy. As I reflect on Christ’s life, I am pray­ing con­stant­ly for the grace to fol­low in his steps.” As I con­sid­er Christ’s death, I am pray­ing con­stant­ly for the grace to die to the attach­ments of this world. And as I muse on Christ’s res­ur­rec­tion, I am pray­ing con­stant­ly for the grace to always choose God’s way.

Vital Prepa­ra­tions

I am only in the mid­dle of my lit­tle exper­i­ment but already I have received so much. I have a deep­en­ing sense of God’s accep­tance and love. Jesus is becom­ing more real, more present, more acces­si­ble. And I am being taught many things about myself and about the future. All these are vital prepa­ra­tions for the days ahead. Most of all, I can assure my heart — and I can assure your heart — that God is alto­geth­er good.

Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished 1993 in Per­spec­tives.

Pho­to by Jacob Mey­er on Unsplash.

Text First Published March 1993

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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