A Lenten Reflection

It’s Lent…

Excerpts from Lenten Reflection during Staff Prayer at CSJ Boston Motherhouse, 2/20/20

Kathy McCluskey, CSJ, and Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ

It’s Lent …A time for learning from within.

We may not have a common understanding about what this means. Even if we don’t come out of a Catholic/Christian tradition, and especially if we do, some things come immediately to mind … repent, give up something, fasting, penance, almsgiving. We come together as Partners in what we know as the CSJ Mission to deepen our understanding of this shared mission and to let it enrich our lives. At the heart of this mission is a relationship and a call from the one we in the extended community of Joseph name “God”, the Holy One. So here is another lens through which we may look at LENT…

As this Lent begins, we offer a particular understanding of the one we CSJs call the Holy One, the God we have come to know through the grace of the charism, the God who informs our common mission…  the God the charism has taught us about for 370 years.

We know God particularly in names like “All Inclusive Love”, “Unifying Love”, “Love Poured Out”, “Love that pervades the universe”. This is God who is huge and at the same time totally personal and accessible to us.

God who loved us enough to become one of us in Jesus, to teach us God’s ways; God who is a model of mercy and justice, compassion and understanding. God who gathers us in, each one of us and all of us together, who suffers with us in difficult times and when we are divided from one another.

When we imagine what this God of Inclusive love desires for our world, for the universe, obviously there is a huge gap between God’s desires and what we see and experience every day. This is the challenge. And this is why we are in mission together. God, the Holy One, known by many names, lives and works through us. Because of the gaps there is always an invitation to more, there is always a teaser.

Lent is like that; Yom Kippur is like that, the Buddhist “Rains Retreat” and Muslim “Ramadan” are like that.  

Today is like that – an invitation, a teaser prompting us to let the Holy One teach us. At its heart, Lent is an occasion for choosing anew, for making new choices about our lives, about how we will be in the world.

And so, as we begin Lent, we pray:
God of great love, you look upon us with tenderness and compassion. Touch our hearts with Your love, that we may turn again to You and praise You with our lives. In this Lenten season give us the courage to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with You. Amen