About Society of Mary, Marists in the USA, Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers, and Laity

Seasonal Reflection

"Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments…"  (Joel 2:12-13)

LENTEN REFLECTION

Ash Wednesday is the time most of us hear those words, some of us will proclaim them; the real question is how well do we live them?

Lent Reflection by Society of Mary Bruce Lery, SMLent brings us into a major season of transition, an opportunity for personal transition – an invitation to metanoia, change, conversion; the longest, most important season of the entire year.  The forty days of Lent move into Triduum.  Triduum brings us to Resurrection, Easter, and Eastertime taking us to Pentecost.  We do not return to "ordinary" time until after Pentecost; we spend more than ninety days, one quarter of the liturgical year, in this special time.  It is important, very important!  It is a special invitation.

The invitation of Lent is to "rend," to tear open our hearts and our lives to the reality and fullness of Resurrection – resurrection in our lives!  The invitation is real, more real than most of us expect, or imagine.  Our God never forces; we will not experience what we do not expect or believe.  Are we willing to risk a bit this year in order to expect and believe that, more than a historical remembrance, resurrection is a personal invitation?

Rending a heart is not easy, but the tried and true method is presented to us in Sacred Scripture, a method taught by the holy ones even before the time of Incarnation:  prayer, fasting, giving (giving of self).  We have all heard those words and tried those methods before; sometimes we have had more 'rending-success' than other times.

Consider a new focus this year.  Focus not on prayer, or on giving, but rather on fasting.  Food is not necessarily a part of this fast.  Think carefully, and look into your life to see what are the things, actions, people, events that most distract you from God and time-for-God; fast from whatever distracts you from God, even if those things are in themselves good.  We cannot pray, or give of our self to God, if we have no time or energy because we are too busy doing the 'God-stuff' of normal daily life/ministry, or other good actions.  This is not a normal time!  This is a special time; a time of invitation!  This invitation to fast is a call to carve out time and energy to pray and to give of self.  Together prayer, fasting and giving (of self) is the time-tested method of heart-rending which leads to the experience of Resurrection in our lives.

This is a special time,
a time to act differently,
do differently! 

Take the invitation seriously.

Bruce J. Lery, SM

<<BACK TO SEASONAL REFLECTIONS>>

<<BACK TO TOP>>

 

 

Lent brings us
into a
major season
of transition,
an opportunity
for personal
transition –
an invitation
to metanoia,
change,
conversion;
the longest,
most important season of
the entire year.

 

Pray with the Society of Mary USA

The Marists invite you
to Pray with Us>