Even now, says the Lord,
return to me
with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the Lord, your God.
[Joel 2, 12-13]
These are men who love themselves inordinately that they want to serve God only for their own gain and their own reward, cut themselves off from God and keep themselves unfree and self-centered, because they seek themselves and think of themselves in all their works. Therefore, with all their prayers and all their good works, they look for temporary or eternal things they choose only for their own comfort and their own benefit. These people are joined to themselves in a disorderly manner and therefore they always remain alone in themselves, for they lack the true love that would unite them with God and all his beloved.
-Jan van Ruusbroec
For all our good intentions and sincere efforts, we are always forgetting our place. In the course of the forgetfulness of daily life, the separate and self-ruling “I” inexorably becomes the center of our attention and concern. We tend to lose awareness of our connection with all and the source of our life in God. It is not uncommon that at times we lose consciousness of the love of God and thus, as Ruusbroec states, “remain alone in” ourselves. The call of Lent is to return to the Lord, to re-orient our heart away from our self-preoccupations, fears, anxieties and concerns and back to its true place with the Lord in the life of the Trinity.
As this year’s Lenten Journey begins, may we attend to those signs in our lives that manifest those ways in which God is calling us to return to our true place, our unique call and Divine life direction.
ASH WEDNESDAY REFLECTION
We are excited to begin our Lenten Prayer today, Ash Wednesday, with a reflection on this call: Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart…[Joel 2:12]
Find the Ash Wednesday reflection on Living the Charism, here: http://wp.me/p36Kiu-aj
And look forward to reflections throughout the First Week of Lent from Brothers John Hamilton, Dominique Olondo, Joe Pawlika and Paul Murray, and Associates Peg Weidner, Kathy Boyle, and Bill Gorman.
Each Tuesday we will be sharing a Xaverian Brother’s story on Living the Charism. This upcoming week (Feb. 19) Brother Philip Neri’s story is told by Brother Thomas Ryan.
“He impressed me beyond my ability to clearly articulate, not the technical aspects of the educational process – that’s minor, but rather the goodness and basic fiber that he infused from himself to ourselves– direct, firm, fair, honest, friendly, thoroughly knowledgeable, personally interested in you as a person as well as a student, an example of everything Christ expects of us,” wrote one student.
A SENSE OF TRUE PLACE [VIDEO]
On Thursday, we’ll post a short video with Brother John Hamilton. He gives his thoughts on the spiritual struggle to accept who we are in all our limitations. Each Thursday we’ll post a video related to our weekly Theme.