Lent is ‘com-passiontide’: we experience both God’s probing of our harshness and withholding and the gentle pressure of God’s grace, drawing us to embrace the gift of divine compassion for ourselves and all others. As we approach once again the Passiontide that celebrates God’s ultimate revelation of love in Jesus’ self offering on the Cross, we enter this retreat time of reflection, silence and prayer so we can ‘catch the tide’ of God’s flowing tenderness and let it carry us further out than we have been before in living the compassionate life.
Father Martin L. Smith is well known throughout the Episcopal Church and beyond for his explorations of contemporary spirituality through workshops, retreats and preaching, and widely read books, including The Word is Very Near You, A Season for the Spirit, Reconciliation, Compass and Stars, Love Set Free, and recently, with the Rev. Julia Gatta, Go in Peace: the Art of Hearing Confessions. He has over thirty years of experience in training and supervising preachers and spiritual directors. Now retired, he makes Washington, DC his base for a roving ministry of spiritual formation and teaching.