Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent Reflection

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Today’s reflection is written by Dr. Ed Hardiman, Headmaster of St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts.


For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight.

[Is 65:17-21]


In my own vocations as husband, father of four children and headmaster it is easy to focus on the work to be done.  The chores are endless and the demands of school never seem to relent.

Focusing on the growing workload can be overwhelming.  In reflecting on the reading from Isaiah we are challenged to realize that we are created to be “joys” and “delights” for God.

In my Lenten journey I have found that fasting from the focus on what needs to be done and opening to myself to what is taking place has allowed me opportunities to experience God’s love in the midst of being in the service of God.

This most recently took place during a prayer service, on the XBSS Student Retreat, focusing on our call to be a Unique Expression of God’s Love.  Joining in prayer and being present to the rituals and insights of the students leading the prayer was a powerful experience being in my place and feeling the love of God.  Being attentive to the prayer led me to see and appreciate the “delights” and “joys” of God that are omnipresent in my journey.

Fasting from focusing on chores, obligations, preparations for meetings or other tasks that needed to be done created a freedom in which I came to feel God’s vibrant presence and feel the joy and delight that is referenced in Isaiah’s writing.  My challenge is to continue to find opportunities to fast from “obligations” and enter into a contemplative place in which the love of God and the call to joy infuses my spirit.


Recommended Exercise

  • Create time and space to be mindful of the presence of God’s love in your journey.
  • Focus on the mantra of Mother Theresa. [Found in the Introduction to this Theme]
  • In the midst of prayer call to mind a recent time of joy.
  • Recall the circumstances that led to that time.
  • Share that time with Jesus, in conversation.



God of Love and Compassion, we ask that you give us sight, so that we can see the world through your eyes. We ask for ears to hear your call to service and the hands to do your will. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.


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