This is an excerpt from the updated, gender-neutral version of Charles Fillmore's "Keep A True Lent," available at Newt List.
Denial - 1st Day, Ash Wednesday
Reading for today: Matthew 5:1-16
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is so-called from the ceremonial of ashes. Ashes symbolize repentance.
John the Baptist came, saying, “Repent ye; for the realm of heaven is at hand.” Repentance means denial. It is a relinquishment and should be made without too much vehemence. Therefore, deny out of consciousness old error thoughts, as if you were gently sweeping away cobwebs, and affirm positively and fearlessly that you are a child of God, and that your inheritance is from God.
As you follow this rule, you find that you are letting go of old mortal beliefs, and the Divine within is flaming higher and higher. Its pure white light is infusing all your surroundings with a delightful spirit of wisdom, dignity and peace. You realize more and more the law of righteous thinking that is bringing you into a consciousness of your perfect dominion.
In Christ, it is not difficult to eliminate belief in strife and contention. If petty quarrels, jealousy, uncharitable thoughts come into your life, you overcome them by a quiet but positive denial made in the realization that no error has any power or reality in itself. You turn away from the belief in negation, and your thinking changes. You rid your consciousness of limited thoughts that have encumbered and darkened your understanding. You break down mortal thought and ascend into a spiritual realm, the realm of the heavens.
In the spirit of divine love, affirm: “Forgetting the things that are behind, I realize I am strong, positive, powerful, wise, loving, fearless, free spirit. I am God’s perfect child.”
1. What is denial?
2. What should follow denial?
3. How should denials be made?
4. How are quarrels and uncharitable thoughts overcome?
I keep a true Lent by denying limiting beliefs of the past and by laying hold of positive ideas that are life-giving. Thus I spiritualize my thinking and transform my life.
A daily guide to your 2015 season of Lent.