Editor's 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.

Now Underway: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? First, choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

Learn more >

Originally published 1993 in Perspectives.

Photo by Jacob Meyer on Unsplash.