17 February 2013

First Sunday in Lent

Live + Jesus

As we enter the Holy Season of Lent our thoughts and our hearts turn toward the tremendous power of God’s love in our lives. We probably will be unable to grasp the depths of this love fully until we reach our final stepping stone into heaven, but hopefully we will be able to grow in it day by day now.

During this first week of Lent I wish to share with you some of these stepping stones, which can smooth our path in the here and now, in the guise of thoughts from St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. Hopefully they will speak to your heart and help you to embrace these holy days with spiritual gusto!

First Sunday in Lent

It is important to note that Jesus returned from the Jordan filled with the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a powerful guide in leading us along the path to sanctity, just as it helped Jesus respond to the devil’s temptations with fortitude and wisdom.

Perhaps a good intention for Lent would be to reflect upon the gifts which the presence of the Holy Spirit brings into our lives. I have found it helpful to select an action or two each day as a reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. Perhaps making a bed, turning on the dishwasher, or turning the key in the ignition in your car - or so many other mundane actions might serve as reminders.

Let each of these actions – or others you may think of – become tangible reminders that God lives within you, most especially his Holy Spirit is there to guide your every step.

I would like to recommend a book which will help you on this journey. Its title is A Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and Saint Francis de Sales by Father Alexander Pocetto, OSFS. It is a real treasure in offering the Gospel for each day of Lent followed by reflections on this Gospel from St. Francis de Sales and Father Pocetto, ending with a short prayer. It can be purchased on line through the De Sales Resource Center.

There is a beautifully inspiring thought on the back cover of this book which is my prayer for you – our blog readers - as we begin Lent together:

“May the presence of Jesus Christ and the gentle and loving kindness of St. Francis de Sales, guide you on your Lenten journey, and lead you to God’s Holy Easter of Peace, Love and Joy!”

Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

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