One of the things I'm noticing is that we're gradually receiving more light. As we move toward summer our light will increase several minutes each day and very soon we will have light into the evening hours. Children will be biking, playing baseball and swimming into the evening hours. I'm also noticing that cherry blossoms are blooming on the trees and several flowers are beginning to grow in the gardens around our beautiful Campus. The Christian community around the world is celebrating the season of Lent - a word which means "Spring-season." During the next 40 days we will be in retreat in a similar way that Jesus retreated into the desert for 40 days to be in communion with God.
As we journey through this season with our Christian sisters and brothers around the world, we're invited by God to be even more engaged with what we are already doing throughout the year - praying, fasting and almsgiving or acts of charity. We're invited to slow down, become more contemplative, and listen to what God is saying to us here and now. We're also invited to sacrifice one thing we enjoy such as snacking … to feel the emptiness … and then to invite God to fill us with God's own love, light and joy.
And we're invited to acts of charity … to be co-workers with Jesus in healing our broken world one person at a time. Maybe to serve lunch at a homeless shelter once a week, call a friend with whom we have had a disagreement, or visit an assisted living center. If I can brighten the day of at least one person during these 40 days of Lent, we have made our world a more forgiving and peaceful place. Mother Theresa once said "do no great things … but do small things with great love." One question I'm asking myself this Lent is "how is God inviting me to grow and become a better person?" Letting go of resentments, forgiving people with whom I've had a disagreement, not texting or talking on the phone while driving.
Fr. Dave Anderson, S.J.Chaplain for Alumni, Seattle University
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Serving the homeless has been my primary focus this Lent: Assisting with finding jobs for domestic felons, helping them to forgive--last,but not least, forgiving themselves,, providing transportation, connecting with the few shelters such as Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Rochester, MN, seeking permanent housing for low income workers who cannot afford pre-rental demands, let alone eeking money for rent from sparse salaries, regaining revoked driving privileges, prayer-partnering and inviting them to reconsider the Faith which they have lost. Many thanks to SU for the quality ministry training which I received, enabling me to confidently assist them in rebuilding their lives.
Thanks David for the reminder. Have cut my Phone Driving 50%, now need to work reducing the remaining 50%. Jim