Reflection for Lent
How can we, at this time of pandemic, believe that the words written by
St. Paul to the Christians of Corinth are relevant to us today? It is possible
if we have a broad vision that goes beyond the daily news, a perspective with a
spiritual dimension that takes into account the human condition but which recognises
the presence of God “in everything.” This is the way of gazing that Ignatian
spirituality suggests. On this basis, at the beginning of Lent, Father General
and his counsellors prayed together. We invite you to consider, personally or
in groups, some of the meditation points that nourished their prayer and which
are inspired by Pope Francis.
• Remember that you are dust...: For what do we live? For the things of the world that pass away? Looking for a bit of prestige, making some career moves? If we live like that, we are a bit of dust.
• Ashes remind us of the path from life to dust. We look around us and we see the dust of death. Lives reduced to ashes. Rubble, destruction, war. And if we look at ourselves, we see our inability to defuse conflict, our difficulty to forgive, to start again. We see all the dust that makes love dirty and life ugly.
• So, what can we do about it? On the way to Easter, two steps. The first, from dust to life, from our fragile humanity to the humanity of Jesus, who heals us. In front of the crucifix, pray, saying: “Jesus, you love me; transform me...” Then, the second step, so as not to fall back from life to dust, to receive God’s forgiveness, in the sacrament of reconciliation, because the fire of God’s love consumes the ashes of our sin.
• Let us then pray with the trust of those who have perceived “the favourable time,” the encounter with the Lord. “Lord, help us to be reconciled so that we can live as forgiven sinners, as healed sick persons, as accompanied travellers. Help us to rise up, to walk towards the goal, Easter, living the joy of discovering that you raise us from our ashes.”
• This Lent, therefore, is a time of grace, a favourable time to welcome God’s loving gaze upon us. Feeling the loving strength of this gaze, we will be able to change our lives and resume the path from ashes to life. In conclusion, let us pray again: “Lord, may this time of Lent allow the fire of love to burn in our hearts. May we be citizens of heaven and may the love of you and of others be our passport to heaven. The love we offer will save us, it will remain forever.”