Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
March 18, 2007
Lent - a “Subversive Opportunity?” - cont. During this Lenten season we are taking a journey that is counter cultural for most of us. We want to become more aware of our lives as individuals who have been created for the purpose of loving one another. It is virtually impossible to love others if we do not take the time to relate to them. Our cultural busyness creates considerable difficulty because we are left with very little “quality” time for others.
John Kavanaugh, S.J., in the Feb. 19 issue of America, speaks about certain Lenten Disciplines that could help us on our journey. Last week we saw that the practice of Interiority and Intimacy are vital to maintaining good and healthy relationships. This week we will look at the other three disciplines.
3. Solidarity: This discipline takes us to the level of action in the public sector. During this season of Lent and in the following weeks of the Easter season, take a public stand on an issue of justice. You can write, speak or march on an issue that is important to you. There are many issues that present themselves to us. All too often we are overwhelmed with too many issues. We become discouraged and we tune them all out. Take the time to reflect on some of the important issues relating to justice and choose one that speaks to your heart. Take the time to read up on this issue. Find out where our country stands then act on it. Some examples of justice issues are Fair Trade, Immigration, Affordable Housing, Health Insurance, Equal Opportunity for work especially with respect to age, etc. There are many more.
4. Simplicity: The point behind simplicity is not that things are bad but having too many things in our lives makes our life too complicated and time consuming. The more we have, the more we are taken up with taking care of it, protecting it, having to earn more money to keep it. During Lent, try to simplify your life a bit. When we simplify we make more time for solitude with God, time with friends and time for service to others. You could begin by getting rid of things that you haven’t even touched in the past two years. This could include entertainment as well as objects around the house you don’t even think about any more. Get rid of at least one small thing per day. You’ll be amazed at how little you miss it but how much difference it makes in your life.
5. The Marginal: During Lent, take some time to think about those people who are all too often marginalized. This includes the handicapped, the terminally ill, those in nursing
homes, people in jails or hospitals. Try to learn a little more about one of these groups. Perhaps you can take a little time to visit an institution and become a little more familiar with real individuals. Ask the staff if there are any people who are lonely and never have visitors. Share some of your time with them. Allow them to share themselves with you. Sometimes the sick or the handicapped give us more than we can give to them.
The wonderful thing about these Lenten disciplines is that it will not cost you anything. And, if you take the disciplines seriously, you will find yourself living a much more peaceful and happy, and fulfilled life. Happy Lent to All!
Lorette P. Nault