It is through this deeper knowing and understanding of ourselves and the other, that can lead us to the transcendence and divine. Our human story unfolds along our journey and relationships carry us from the womb to tomb. When we share our story, we are given insight into one’s life, this is truly a precious gift.
2023 may be the year that we take time to connect and reconnect, to listen and learn and hold these pearls of wisdom as we travel on our journey.
Our 2023 Diocesan Lent Reflection Finding Light within the Darkness provides the opportunity to share life experiences.
There is a sense of intensity that exists during the liturgical season of Lent. Unlike the joyous feeling in the waiting during Advent, we enter Lent with a different mindset. The word intense comes from the Latin intendere, meaning to stretch out for. We know that during this time we are reminded of hardship, suffering, and ultimately dying. It is an intense time, when we stretch ourselves, to pray more and intentionally give more to those in need. We also are conscious of the consumption that we need to fast from, for many this is a period of abstinence from whatever is taking hold of their life. It is most fitting that this season is at the start of the year as many people enter the new year with a range of things that they want to focus on or make changes to. Some may call this their new year’s resolution. There is a desire to die to old ways and be reborn into a new way of thinking and living.
Lent invites us to listen with our heart and to really turn in, to contemplate our humanness so we can actively turn out and focus on humanity. It can be hard to listen when our world will not stand still long enough to take a breath; our world is full of competing white noises that never turn off. It is difficult to feel free of the world’s ongoing struggles that fill all spaces every day.
Lent provides us with a gift to make space, to recognise our breath and to focus on how we can be mindful of finding light within the darkness. We are invited to turn to God dwelling within us and consider how we can bring forth light in our life and in the lives of those we encounter.
How can we be the listening ear and non-judgementally hear the stories of our brothers and sisters?
How can we be the one who respectfully acknowledges the other with a smile and greeting, to demonstrate their dignity and worth?
How can we find the light in the other just as Jesus did?
Jesus invites those who he encounters to see with a different lens, with fresh eyes to see the light that is sometimes hidden within the darkness.
Acknowledging story removes the light from under the basket and places it on the lampstand where it shines for everyone to see. We are influenced by stories, they can have an impact on our own lives.
This Lent you are encouraged to use the resource to reveal the mystery of God each week through the scriptures and in faith sharing. Through an examination of our Spiritual Foundations, individuals and groups may feel compelled to not only reflect on how these principles are currently lived out, but what can be done to bring about action and change in the future.
To access the Diocesan Lenten Reflection, Finding Light Within the Darkness go to https://www.mn.catholic.org.au/church-mission/catholic-life/liturgy/lent-2023/
Each fortnight we would love to hear your stories of faith that are a living reality within your local and wider community. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel you have a story to share. firstname.lastname@example.org
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