United States Conference of Secular institutes

2019-2020 Winter Mountaineer

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Secular Institutes

Dear Friends,
Lent is a season that calls us to deeper love. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are practices which the Church offers to us as a stimulus to put things back in order; that is, to place God, who is Love, in the center of our lives once again.
We are reminded to follow Jesus’ example of putting his relationship with his father first and foremost in his life. He would leave his disciples and friends to go off by himself to pray in order to deepen his contact with the one who sent him on his mission. Even the Christ found that he needed time alone to listen to his father and that meant to put aside distractions and focus on his one true need, union with his father and his will. Can we do less?
Let us then unite ourselves with Jesus in his walk to Calvary. It was a way of triumph in many ways, but victories unseen. There was the Transfiguration, but he cautioned the apostles to keep it a secret. They should learn to see his divinity in the midst of everyday life, when he appeared to be the same as others.
Couldn’t our Lent also be a time to search for the workings of the divine in the ordinary doings of our daily life? We profess to believe that God is everywhere, but even we, consecrated to the Lord, need to work hard to be aware of his presence and his action on a daily basis. Those inspirations, those near misses on the highway, those smiles and comforting conversations, are the ways in which our father reaches out to us and tells us as he told Jesus, “You are my beloved.”
And the Father shows us his love by conforming us to his Son, on the cross. May we embrace our crosses with the same love and joy as Jesus did, with a divine smile even as we cry out in our humanity. The blending of the two, divine and human, is what Lent is about.
Wishing you much grace in this holy season, Marcia Vinje


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