READINGS: Reflect upon the words of: Joel: 2 12-18; Responsorial Psalm: 51; 2 Corinthians 5, 20-6:2; and the Gospel of Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18.
The words of Joel capture the words and desire of the Lord, for us, in this season of Lent, when the Lord says: ‘Return to me with your whole heart!’ God is “rich in kindness”, “slow to anger” and “He will leave behind, a blessing.”
“Blow the trumpet in Zion; proclaim a fast! “Gather the people”; “notify the elders”; assemble the children.” “Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ God heard the searching of their spirits for Him! “And the Lord took pity on His people!”
In 2 Corinthians, St. Paul reminds us that we are ‘ambassadors for God’. He reminds us that working together in community, there is an appeal not to receive the grace of God in vain. Lent is ‘the acceptable time for behold now is the day of salvation.
The Gospel of Matthew shares the words of Jesus with advice as to the “How of Lent.” Jesus doesn’t want us “shouting from the rooftops”that we are going into Lent, for then, we receive our reward of approval from others. Rather, go into your inner room, close the door, and pray to God. God will see you pray in secret, will see your efforts “not to be gloomy” and to ‘wash your face, and , in the inner prayer of your heart, “God will repay you.”
“Contemplative prayer is awakening and attentiveness. It is stepping back from our preoccupations and distractions and allowing God to transform our awareness, our hearts and our lives. It is making space to be with God in stillness and solitude. It is not withdrawing from the world to go into the desert or monastery to find undisturbed serenity and peace. It is allowing the Spirit to cultivate an inner stillness of heart that persists even in the busyness and challenges of our lives, and that allows us to face those challenges with focus and passion that comes from living with attentiveness to God.”
-Juliet Benner (2011) Contemplative Vision. p. 28
TRY THIS TODAY:
In our busy lives, as Ladies of Charity, let us choose for Lent, 2013, to have some ‘Tea time’ in prayer with the Lord. By sitting in a favorite chair or lighting a candle, let us for ten minutes, find stillness of heart and be attentive to the message in prayer God may give me for today.