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22nd Feb 2022 - A Reflection in Preparation for Lent

“We do not go into the desert to escape people, but to learn how to find them; we do not leave them in order to have nothing more to do with them but to find out what to do for them for their good”. (Thomas Merton)


The word LENT comes from the ANGLO-SAXON meaning “Springtime” and to be more precise it means the SPRINGTIME OF OUR SOULS. The word also meant lente – slow or go slowly ...slow down - breathe deeply etc. At the beginning of Lent we face seven weeks before we reach the culmination of our lives in the Feast of the Resurrection. The season of Lent draws us into the desert which gives us an opportunity to stop, to reflect, to refrain from persistent habits, from ways of thinking and behaving that we have unconsciously picked up from others or from what the media might throw at us through our TV screens. The adversary is always waiting to trip us up and could be found in any group, institution, structure or circumstance which hinders us from being the children of God with Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.


We enter the desert with Jesus, not in fear or guilt but in the company of the angels who wait with us and protect us. Yes, we will be put to the test as the strong resolutions made on Ash Wednesday might be forgotten or deemed unrealistic by the following Friday. God does not judge us by our failures and weaknesses as long as we strive to be the best we can be in our struggles and in the challenges that cross our paths as we live out each day.


As I have grown older and the spectacular missions of teaching, ministry in Italy and more recently with the poor in the Mukuru slums have been relegated to history, I set myself few challenges for Lent or indeed at any other time, but I try to live each day being conscious of the presence of God in my life and I live what I call the ‘Ministry of the Bus Stop’ being conscious of the people waiting with me. In the supermarket I acknowledge the person at the cash desk by saying ‘THANK YOU HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY DAY’. Such encounters always draw a huge smile from the person distanced from me by the pandemic regulations of protective Perspex


Have a wonderful Lent when it comes and take each day as a gift from God by walking in the Divine Presence knowing that no matter what happens you are loved by Him.



A little ADD ON...

In September 2021 Pope Francis announced the Synod to be held in Rome in October 2023. The theme of the Synod is Communion, Participation and Mission. You might or might not wonder what this is about and what it means for you. Here I quote from Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin when he launched the idea to the Archdiocese. The Liturgical space he was speaking from was in the shape of a boat in the Pro Cathedral. This is what he said ….


‘The invitation to embark on this journey is to all the baptized because all the baptized are in the boat together’


Welcome to this boat and do what you can do to be as good as you can be in your own particular circumstances. As your contribution to the Synod, you might just say one Hail Mary every morning and night for the success of this amazing opportunity for all of us.


May God be praised!


Sr Assumpta Walsh 18.02.2022


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