The following quote is from Sr. Joan Chittister, a Benedictine sister, commenting on some words of St. Benedict ihimself. It was sent to me by a friend today:
“There is one thing Benedict teaches us before all other possible insights about the spiritual life and that is this: God is with us. It is as simple as that. God does not need to be earned. God cannot be merited. God is not persuaded by human behavior to attend to us. God is not intent on ignoring us. ‘The divine presence is everywhere,’ St. Benedict tells us.”
At the beginning of Lent, I said to my students that while Lenten sacrifices certainly have their place – if they move us to a greater awareness of God, our need for God, and the needs of our sisters and brothers. Most important of all, though, is to pray earnestly to the Holy Spirit for the grace of a good Lent. Sr. Joan and St. Benedict put is so beautifully: Lent is not about what we do but what we allow to be done to us.
And at this point as we enter into the depths of Lent, we might very well have become aware of the movement of the Spirit within. What is the question, or the challenging, perhaps even disturbing truth, or the call from the depths of your being that seems to be surfacing at this time?
Listen to it. Puruse it in prayer. Take your foot off the accelerator and your hand off the wheel and allow that divine summons to lead you into Holy Week – and beyond.
Happy Spring! It’s supposed to snow tomorrow here. C’est la vie!
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
Should you find yourself in the neighborhood of St. Thomas Moore parish in Happauge, NY any Wednesday in Lent, please come by the church at 7:30. Pat Leonard and I will be leading a weekly retreat and you are more than welcome to join us.