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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lent is time spent with Jesus

Open the door! Jesus is waiting to come in and spend these next forty days with us in a special way. He calls us in the first reading today to Choose life."

On this day, forty-eight years ago, I was on the eve of my final Profession in Rome. We had made a thirty-day retreat, a deepening of the retreat I made in August at the Trinita dei Monti, our convent at the top of the Spanish Steps. Pere Gaston Fournier came from France to give this retreat and it was a powerful one stressing that the only thing necessary is to do "what God wants, when He wants it, and how He wants it." As I was leaving right after final Profession to go from Rome straight to Chile, I added, and "where He wants it"
I did not know any Spanish, but that did not seem to bother anyone; I kept hearing Jesus say to me, " Fear not; it is I." I knew Jesus was with me and have never doubted his presence in my life.

The Little Black Book with six minute mediations that was given to us at Church for Lent has this for today on the left side (right side is always a commentary on the Passion from John's Gospel):
"There is nothing tricky about prayer. It's simply tuning in to God's presence-and God is always present. Not simply alongside us, but within us at the deepest part of who we are.
We never have to make an appointment with God. We're "first on the list". Our appointment is "right now".
When we call God, we never get voice mail. It's direct.
To draw near to God, we don't have to travel anywhere. God does all the traveling.
We don't have to figure out the right words to get started. God is already speaking to us. All we have to do is turn off the "mute" button.
The reason we pray is to become more who we are. We're made in the image and likeness of God. When we pray, we become more and more like God.
Try it. Use words if you wish. But you can also just sit quietly with God. It's a fine way to spend a few minutes."

This book is dedicated to Bishop Ken Untener (1937-2004) who was inspired to create "Little Books" - this is based on his writings and put together by the editor of "Little Books", Catherine Haven, with the help of Sister Nancy Ayotte, IHM.

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