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Journey with us through this Lenten season

Prayer is one of the three pillars of Lenten practice. Through prayer, we raise our hearts and minds to God in thanksgiving and praise. Prayer is our “vital and personal relationship with the true and living God.” Starting on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10 and continuing through Easter, we invite you to visit this page each week during Lent for a new reflection from Sisters Marcella Nachreiner and Rose Raymond Wagner.

We invite you to visit this page weekly for new reflections.

Just as the heart is the life giving pulse of our physical being, so prayer is the life giving pulse that gives meaning to our lives. It is by journeying inwardly, touching God in the depths of our hearts, that we touch the heart of life. We journey inward to seek the mystery of the God who created us and lives within us — the God “in whom we live, and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) The heart of prayer is the realization of God’s love for us; our response, our answer, to God’s love for us is our surrender into his life. When we surrender ourselves to God, we enter into the heart of life – life within us and life around us.

The journey of prayer is life-long; we become familiar with it only when we travel it regularly. Wednesday, Feb. 10 marked the beginning of Lent, a time which carries a special invitation to travel along the path of life. It is a time to meet and reflect on God our loving Father and Jesus our model of life. Entering more deeply into the center of our being where Jesus abides in love, we will hear his call to life.

Jesus calls us to the whole of life just as he embraced it in its entirety. He loved, laughed, hurt and died. He breathed in the beauty of life and he wept for the misuse of this beauty. Jesus was compassionate, gentle, merciful and forgiving. He showed pity on the multitudes, miraculously feeding them; compassionately restored dignity to the woman caught in adultery; and gently forgave the grief of Mary Magdalene. Life called out to Jesus and he responded with open hands and an open heart.

Each time we say yes to love, to life, to God’s way for us, we say yes to the gift of Jesus. With each yes, new life is evoked within us. To say yes will not always be easy. It will mean living each day to the fullest with an openness to ourselves and others. It will mean listening, waiting, simply being – bringing ourselves to each day in a spirit of gentleness, kindness, patience, love and forgiveness.

Let us joyfully enter into the spirit of Lent by listening for Jesus’ gentle call to follow him all the way, even though the road may be rough and we may have difficulty hearing his voice. Trust whole-heartedly for “I know well the plans I have for you says the Lord…a future full of hope…when you seek me with all your heart; I will let you find me.” (Jer. 29:11-14) Let us draw near to him, let him touch us with a new awareness of his presence in the joys, pains, deaths and resurrection of our lives.

Pray: God is Listening

Just as the heart is the life giving pulse of our physical being, so prayer is the life giving pulse that gives meaning to our lives. It is by journeying inwardly, touching God in the depths of our hearts, that we touch the heart of life. We journey inward to seek the mystery of the God who created us and lives within us — the God “in whom we live, and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) The heart of prayer is the realization of God’s love for us; our response, our answer, to God’s love for us is our surrender into his life. When we surrender ourselves to God, we enter into the heart of life — life within us and life around us.

The journey of prayer is life-long; we become familiar with it only when we travel it regularly. Wednesday, Feb. 10 marked the beginning of Lent, a time which carries a special invitation to travel along the path of life. It is a time to meet and reflect on God our loving Father and Jesus our model of life. Entering more deeply into the center of our being where Jesus abides in love, we will hear his call to life.

Jesus calls us to the whole of life just as he embraced it in its entirety. He loved, laughed, hurt and died. He breathed in the beauty of life and he wept for the misuse of this beauty. Jesus was compassionate, gentle, merciful and forgiving. He showed pity on the multitudes, miraculously feeding them; compassionately restored dignity to the woman caught in adultery; and gently forgave the grief of Mary Magdalene. Life called out to Jesus and he responded with open hands and an open heart.

Each time we say yes to love, to life, to God’s way for us, we say yes to the gift of Jesus. With each yes, new life is evoked within us. To say yes will not always be easy. It will mean living each day to the fullest with an openness to ourselves and others. It will mean listening, waiting, simply being – bringing ourselves to each day in a spirit of gentleness, kindness, patience, love and forgiveness.

Let us joyfully enter into the spirit of Lent by listening for Jesus’ gentle call to follow him all the way, even though the road may be rough and we may have difficulty hearing his voice. Trust whole-heartedly for “I know well the plans I have for you says the Lord…a future full of hope…when you seek me with all your heart; I will let you find me.” (Jer. 29:11-14) Let us draw near to him, let him touch us with a new awareness of his presence in the joys, pains, deaths and resurrection of our lives.

“Lord, it is good for us to be here…” Peter speaks for all of us in our “transfiguration moments.” Our Scripture readings today also remind us of the realities of suffering, sacrifice and the cross. Abraham’s obedience to God demanded that he sacrifice his son. Ultimately Abraham’s willingness brought about abundant blessings upon himself and his descendants.

The Transfiguration reminds us of the glory Jesus possessed — a glory that would overcome the darkness of evil in his life and in ours. But the glory would come later. First would come the cross. Whatever our cross, it is redemptive when joined with Jesus’ suffering.

Recall your experiences of both the “cross” and the “transfiguration” moments in your life. What did you learn from them?

I came to the well – at noon when I would not meet anyone who disapproved of me, the woman from Samaria. And He was there – this Jew. He did not leave when I approached. He stayed and asked me for a drink. That’s how our conversation began and I found myself asking and answering questions – about my personal life, my deepest secrets. He never judged me and the words he spoke found a place in my heart. I realized that the man who was “in my way” was instead The Way! My story has been told to this day! Jesus is the Savior!

What are some of the thirsts of my deeper nature?

Jesus, help me to see!

The story of the blind man is our story. Our ability to really “see” is a process and only in meeting Jesus along the road on our life’s journey are we able to see — deeply, profoundly and truly.

All the characters in this Gospel story are found in each of us: the person born blind to whom Jesus gave sight, the Pharisees who challenge Jesus’ actions and were concerned only with laws and rules, the parents who seemingly did not want to “get involved” and Jesus, the compassionate healer. Jesus, help me to see!

How is this my story?

“Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12).

Jesus’ death is fast approaching — the “hour for the Son of Man to be glorified.” How many deaths are we to undergo before we will be glorified – honored by the Father for having served Him? Imagine! God honors us for our service! Jesus promises that when he is “lifted from the earth,” he will draw all to Himself! How blessed we are – to have a God who is passionate about each of us — loving us to death!

How do I respond to this kind of love?

On this day we are invited to read and reflect once again on the account of the Passion and death of Jesus – the Paschal Mystery. Our personal sharing in this Paschal Mystery of Jesus is both comforting and challenging. It means being able to say each day with St. Paul: “I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from his resurrection; likewise to know how to share in his sufferings by being formed into the pattern of his death” (Phil 3:10). Jesus was asked to “let go” to relinquish, to divest. We are being asked to do the same.

How does my attitude toward my (our) divesting match that of Jesus?

Alleluia! To you, risen Jesus, we give glory and praise! Let your Easter Light so shine before us that we may see your good works and give you glory!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King!

Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes forever!

(Easter Vigil “Exultet”)

May you be praised, O God, by the beloved community, by those with whom we live and minister, who by mutual love give birth to the Christ-Presence!

ALL SHALL BE WELL, AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS SHALL BE WELL!

(Julian of Norwich)

Easter Sunday

Alleluia! To you, risen Jesus, we give glory and praise! Let your Easter Light so shine before us that we may see your good works and give you glory!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King!

Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes forever!

(Easter Vigil “Exultet”)

May you be praised, O God, by the beloved community, by those with whom we live and minister, who by mutual love give birth to the Christ-Presence!

ALL SHALL BE WELL, AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS SHALL BE WELL!

(Julian of Norwich)

Stations of the Cross Reflection

Easter Blessings

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