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The Bishop’s Page
      February 24, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

We’ve come to the end of the Epiphany Season, and Lent is now upon us.

By the longstanding custom of many centuries, Ash Wednesday is the day for each of us to adopt a Lenten Rule of Life, a specific discipline that we will try to live by for the next six weeks. It is meant to help us keep a devout and holy Lent. Traditionally it involves giving up certain things and taking on certain things in order to strengthen our spiritual will power and to bring us closer to God and to His will for our lives. Many people give up things like sweets, caffeine, or alcohol, and take on things like participation in weekly devotion like Stations of the Cross or attendance at a weekday mass or Bible study.

Each year I like to return to a favorite formula that I try to recall and put into practice each day.  It is attributed to Presiding Bishop Arthur Lichtenberger (who served in the early 1960s), and I commend it to you for your daily devotions.

Fast from criticism, and feast on praise;
Fast from self-pity, and feast on joy;
Fast from ill-temper, and feast on peace.
Fast from resentment, and feast on contentment;
Fast from jealousy, and feast on love;
Fast from pride, and feast on humility;
Fast from selfishness, and feast on service;
Fast from fear, and feast on faith.

In addition, try praying this short verse several times a day: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:11)

Faithfully in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Third Bishop of Fort Worth