Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lent --- Dinesh

Dear brothers,

Thought of sharing this reflection with you...
I just returned this morning from meeting my spiritual director Joe Lacey. Joe is a Jesuit of the Maryland province who had worked for a number of years in Jamshedpur.

One of the questions he asked me was, “How are you going to go about lent this year?” He then shared the process he had gone through a few years back. As part of being in a parish, and very much involved in giving the 19th annotation Sp. Ex, he wanted blend the journey of lent into the journey of the spiritual exercises.

The team he was reflecting with all began with the assumption that lent corresponded to the 3rd week of the exercises. However when they looked at the readings through lent, they discovered that these focused more on the “journey to Jerusalem” – Lent was actually the journey into Easter. This insight transformed how they approached the “spiritual exercises for lent”

What Joe suggested to me was that one could begin with Easter – What would it be like to experience the Risen Lord, who has triumphed over evil and hatred, and sin and death; what would it be like to be one in a community of love, filled with the Holy Spirit; What would it be like to like in an environment suffused by the presence of the Risen Lord. …

This is the backdrop to our journey of lent. … And we could fill this picture out more fully – what would communities look like; what would Gujarat look like; what would our apostolates look like; suffused with the transforming presence of the Risen Lord who has triumphed!

And then we allow ourselves to reflect on our present situation… what is it that could prevent me from reaching and experiencing Easter more fully? What “prejudices’, beliefs, attitudes, habits etc. could limit my experience of Easter? What kinds of relationships, works, involvements are keeping me from experiencing the Risen Lord more abundantly? These are the things I can choose to “FAST” from or abstain from … the disordered attachments that I choose to set in order.

And then we could turn our eyes to those areas that we choose to cultivate, that can open us to a more profound encounter with the Risen Lord; and help us to be more congruent and sensitively attuned to the movements of the Spirit within us, among us, and in our world. …

… Perhaps something as simple as the “Preparatory Prayer” as an introduction to our reading the daily newspaper;

… Praying for one’s community members; thinking/speaking/acting kindly and joyfully about those persons that one feels disconnected from or even resentful towards…

… Maybe standing back from the world (as in the meditation on the Incarnation- joining the Trinity in gazing upon our world) to get a wider, global picture of God’s presence and action in the world … and concurrently God’s invitation to us… (These could become what has traditionally been called alms-giving – cultivating the positive) … All that could help us on our journey towards Easter.

This could be our journey … individuals on journey with others to the shared experience of Easter. I was wondering how this could colour our journey in the days ahead as a province as we head towards the Province Sammelan…

And how would it be if some of us found this meaningful enough to want to share our own journey of Lent-towards Easter with our companions.

Wishing you a Joyful Journey of Lent


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