Thursday, February 23, 2012
Lent and our image of God
The retreat I made at Morning Star Retreat House in Miami was a great way to begin Lent. The priest, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, who is also a pastor, was excellent. He began by talking about a phrase to keep before us for Lent: "The Paschal Mystery" (he said that we like phrases like "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and he was proposing that we really think about the centrality of the Paschal Mystery during Lent. He also spoke of our image of God and took the parable of the Prodigal son from the point of view of the father and mother, too. They must have been going out every single day to look to see if their son was on his way home...that is what God is doing with us when we wander off.
Another thought was to think that God might be disappointed in us, but not offended. He said we so often have false ideas of what God thinks!
We had a rather unique was of receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation; there were about sixty of us so we were asked to write what we wanted to change and come up; the priest read the paper, gave individual absolution, and then we each burned out paper when he handed it back to us. I liked this very much.
It was a lovely day with perfect weather so we could walk around the grounds in silence between the talks. I was the only Religious making the retreat and was asked to give ashes during the Mass and realized that some of the women had been students in the spiritual direction program I began twenty-five years ago.