Awakening: A Review of This Year’s Lenten Journey

A Weekly publication of The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation,

Spiritual Direction and Soul Care

Hi Everyone, I pray that you, at this very moment, are experiencing the presence of God in your day. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak to your heart.

I pray all are deep into experiencing Holy Week. The celebration of Holy Thursday and Good Friday bring us to the precipice of Resurrection Sunday. In this week’s Awakening I thought it might be a good time to reflect on our journey by recapping the major themes of our devotional journey over the past seven weeks.

A Review of This Year’s Lenten Journey

As we review our spiritual movements of the past six weeks of Lent and Holy Week simply consider the main focus of our devotionals, as indicated and write one or two sentences that come to mind in this very moment. Ponder your responses after you have finished all the review.

Week One: Our focus was on discerning interior movements of darkness and light. Where, deep in your heart, did you find darkness that was not pleasing to God? How have you confessed and repented of these? Where did you find light that was pleasing to God? How have you praised God for this divine light?

Week Two: Our focus was on the discernment of interior movements of healing and intimacy with God. What healing has occurred within you as you experienced Lent and Holy Week thus far?

Week Three: Our focus was on discerning Jesus’ call to transformation. What has changed in you as you embraced your Lenten and Holy Week journeys this year? What changes might the Lord be calling you to nurture in the days and weeks to come?

Week Four: Our focus was on discerning the effect of the Lord’s sacrifice on your life. How has your pondering with regard to the Lord’s sacrifice for you affected you spiritually, mentally, emotionally and even physically? How have you experienced Christ’s sacrifice deep in your heart? How has this experience been different than in the past? Imagine a scene where the Lord Jesus is telling you of the sacrifice that he is about to make for you and for all humanity. How do you feel? How might this effect the days and weeks to come?

Week Five: The last two weeks our focus was within the context of two prayers. In week five we prayed for the courage to walk with Jesus Christ and to be with him in his passion and death. How did this make your feel? How does it make you feel right now? How might this have an effect on the days and weeks’ to come?

Week Six: Week six is Holy Week, where our prayer is; Dear Lord, I pray for the courage to follow you and deeply experience your passion, death and resurrection this week. Lord, help me to become more fully aware of Your presence and Your Love for me, for all people, and all creation, this Holy Week. In Christ’s precious name I pray. Amen. How does this prayer affect you, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically? Are you able to pray this earnestly and passionately?

Pay close attention to ways in which Holy Thursday might have moved you. How was God present? How might this experience affect the future for you?

Ponder Good Friday. What thoughts and emotions does this day stir up for you?

Now consider Holy Saturday. This was a time when the disciples felt all had been lost. This is a liminal space between death and resurrection. Explore what this means to you as you make your final preparations for Easter.

Save the Dates


  • Lectio Divina (3 hour seminar and practice) April 29th from 9:00am-12:00noon

  • Introduction to the Enneagram (6 hour seminar) May 20th from 9:00am to 3:00pm with 1 hour break for lunch.

  • Centering Prayer (3 hour seminar and practice) June 24th form 9:00am to 12:00noon

Please email for details

To register please call


Or visit our website

for a complete listing of available classes and a free syllabus for a class of your choice.

1 For more information on our eleven week “Contemplative Listening” study/experience please email and request your free syllabus

Want to learn more about the important practice of spiritual direction, or are looking for a spiritual director to walk with you in your spiritual journey?

Contact “The Awakening Institute”

321-298-8801 or visit our website

Coming in the Fall of 2017

Introduction to the Enneagram Eleven Week Course

This is an Eleven week (27.5 hour) course into the fantastic world

of the Enneagram.

This class will include an in-depth look into all nine spaces as well as their subtypes, wings, triads and Holy ideas, with emphasis on its usefulness within the context of spiritual direction and self-care.

Syllabus is now available;

Something to Ponder

A stone is self-sufficient,

a human being is self-surpassing.

Abraham Heschel, Man is Not Alone, 138

Do you know someone who would like to receive “Awakening” every Friday?

Send us their email address and we will make it happen.

Coming this Fall

Christian Mysticism in Today’s World

Course Description: This is an 12 week course, (2 1/2 hours per session), designed to help the student discover the most important dynamics of Christian Mysticism, both in its historical context as well as the many ways it has, and continues to develop today. We will use a three-fold approach, which includes 1) Defining mysticism historically and what it means for disciples today. 2) Answering the question, “Who is a mystic?” and 3) the way of the mystic.

Syllabus now available, email:

Community Bible Experience

This is an encounter with God’s Word designed for those who wish to experience the Scriptures at a deep heart level, as a way to inner transformation.

Coming in the summer of 2017

The Gospel of John

Some recommendations for excellent spiritual guidance…

If you have others to share with our readers please send them to

Knowing as We Are Known

A five seek study in inner stillness

As taught by the author

Eugene T. Yotka

August 4, 11, 18, 25 and September1


at Epworth UMC,

7651 Johnson Street, Hollywood, Florida

Email for tuition costs, further details and to reserve your space

“Knowing as We Are Known: An Exercise in Inner Stillness”, by Eugene T. Yotka,

Imagine Seeing Yourself as God See’s You; The True You.

Imagine Living in Full Awareness of The Lord’s Presence in Your Life

Imagine Having a Deeper Sense of Being One of God’s Beloved Children

Imagine Hearing God’s Still Small Voice in a More Profound Manner

We all long to live from the center of an authentic self. Gene Yotka has provided an important resource for helping us identify and express a spiritual life from that center. His book is a gift. – Dr. Steve Harper, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Asbury Theological Seminary

Gene has demystified contemplative prayer and made it accessible to the average believer. – Dr. Stephen Seamands, Professor of Christian Doctrine, Asbury Theological Seminary

From Gene’s book I learned a lot about how to truly pray. -- Salvatore Buttaci, Author and Poet

Eugene Yotka's book changed my life. I have struggled with years of feeling lonely even though I had people in my life that I felt connected with and having been saved since I was 3 years old and felt I had a relationship with the Lord. But this book and practicing inner stillness brought me to a place of knowing God like I have never known Him before. I no longer feel alone and feel empowered to practice inner stillness daily to continue this awesome relationship with God. --Wanda, Amazon review

“Knowing as We Are Known: An Exercise in Inner Stillness”, by Eugene T. Yotka, offers a way to experience the true self where God speaks to our spirits telling us we are God’s children. We are created to live in the Presence of God, here and now, and to know inward stillness, peace, and tranquility as a way of life.

Available for $12.00 from The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction and Soul Care

Immerse yourself in that still place within, in which God speaks to the true self that you have been created to be. This book is more than simply information about inner stillness; it is a guide into the experience of inner stillness itself. This is the author’s journey to that place where God speaks to our spirits and calls us children. This is a call not so much to do something as much as it is a call to be who God created us to be.

A Gathering of Spiritual Directors

This coming spring The Awakening Institute will host a gathering of spiritual directors. The reason for the gathering is to come together in prayer and to seek discernment regarding ways we can, together, raise awareness within the church of how spiritual direction can be a vehicle by which God’s presence and voice can be more deeply felt and more clearly heard, at both individual and congregational levels. If you are a spiritual director and would like to join in this conversation please contact Gene Yotka at 321-298-8801 or email for additional details.

Have Something You Would Like to Share?

Awakening would be blessed to receive original articles, poems, or artistic work that would be helpful and edifying for those interested in Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction, and/or Soul Care for future publication.

Please submit via email to

Recommended Reading

(Additional to our daily Scripture reading)

  • Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, by David-Steindl Rast

  • I Am A Follower, by Leonard Sweet

  • Becoming Human, By Jean Vanier

  • Knowing As We Are Known, by Eugene T. Yotka

  • Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer

  • Desiring God’s Will, by David Benner

  • Walking In The Light, by Steve Harper

  • Thoughts in Solitude, by Thomas Merton

  • Incarnation: The Surprising Overlap of Heaven & Earth, by Will Willimon

  • The Mystic Way of Evangelism, by Elaine A. Heath

  • A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker Palmer

  • The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen

  • Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity, by Norman Wirzba

  • Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr

  • Between the Dark and the Daylight, by Joan Chittister

  • New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton

  • Love Henri, by Henri Nouwen

  • New! The Divine Dance, by Richard Rohr

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