Something for Lent 2014
Sunday, March 2Welcome to Moved to Greater Love, a nine-week program of prayer and reflection for the Lent and Easter seasons. Those interested may sign up for a daily email to receive the materials.
Today’s GraceI pray for the grace of openness to whatever gifts God desires to give me during this two-month prayer experience.
Scripture/ReadingFrom the De statu Societatis, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus’ 2012 summary of the state of the Society of Jesus in the world:
Thus, although this may surprise some, I believe that one of the primary challenges facing the Society today is that of recovering the spirit of silence. I am not thinking of disciplinary measures, fixed times of silence, going back to religious houses that look more like monasteries. Rather, I am thinking of the hearts of our men. We all need a place inside ourselves where there is no noise, where the voice of the Spirit of God can speak to us, softly and gently, and direct our discernment. In a very true sense we need the ability to become ourselves — silence, emptiness, an open space that the Word of God can fill, and the Spirit of God can set on fire for the good of others and of the Church. More than ever, every Jesuit should be able to live like a monk in the middle of the noise of the city — as an Orthodox friend of ours once said. That means that our hearts are our monasteries and at the bottom of every activity, every reflection, every decision, there is silence, the kind of silence that one shares only with God.
- As I approach this Lenten experience, am I in consolation or desolation? Do I have a strong sense of God's loving providence and presence in my life? Or, am I struggling to feel God's presence? I speak with God about this.
- What is my primary emotion toward God right now? Gratitude? Love? Great desire? Boredom? Frustration? Confusion? I speak with God about this.
- As I embark on this Lenten experience, what is my attitude toward it? Am I filled with great desires or am I unenthusiastic about this experience? I speak with God about this.
ReflectionLingering over God from “The Discerning Heart” by Maureen Conroy:
God’s touch, though taking place in a moment of time, lives on within us forever. When we experience God’s love, God’s self-giving, we are never the same. We may return to some of our old ways of being and acting, but deep down within we are not the same.
We can continue to let an experience of God bear fruit within us by going back to it and lingering over it. Through this remembering, lingering, and reliving process, we open ourselves to God — we allow God to move within us, to touch our hearts again so that our own experiences of God ripple deep within us and can continue to make a difference in our lives.
I weave a silence into my mind,
I weave a silence within my heart,
I close my ears to distractions,
I close my eyes to attentions,
I close my heart to temptations.
Calm me, O Lord, as you stilled the storm,
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease,
Enfold me, Lord in your peace.