The Lenten season has begun. Here in the solitude and silence I ponder the great Paschal mystery and pray that God will quicken us for Easter. In my listening there seems to be a love that longs to give some of what I am receiving back to you, that together we might gratefully return a love gift to the Holy One.
Lent is a time when we as believers enter into an extended retreat with Jesus. It is an invitation to participate with Him in His time of prayer, solitude, silence, and privation in the wilderness. It is a call to an ever deepening conversion experience, a call to repentance, and a call to choose change.
The wilderness, the desert, the solitude are the furnace of transformation. Jesus willingly entered into this furnace where he was tempted with the three compulsions of the world: to be relevant, to be spectacular, and to be powerful. There He affirmed God as the only source of His identity. If we will consent to the wilderness in love and trust, alone with Jesus, we too will learn to take our identity not from the world, but from the Voice within Who calls us Beloved.
May we come in humility and gratitude to accept His invitation and offer not a candy bar or a glass of wine, but our hearts, ourselves. Such a sacrificial offering, such consent and commitment, creates an openness and emptiness within our hearts where God can give Himself, through Christ, back to us. It is in this giving and receiving of Love that we are immersed in the flow of divine relationship and begin to experience the freedom to live our lives in the Spirit of Love. So to live in the Spirit, in Holy Communion, is to live in the flow of divine relationship with all that it has to offer us. And what it offers is the Paschal mystery of life out of death, love out of pain, ecstasy out of agony, the Word out of silence, light out of darkness and power out of poverty.
What a supremely precious gift this Spirit of Love is. It is a gift that continues to transcend—spirit touching spirit. We are all held unconditionally in it and experience, moment by moment, that such a Love cannot be said; it can only be felt with the heart.
Beholding the Beloved, trusting in the mercy,