- 3rd Lenten Preface in the Roman Missal.
Monday, March 12, 2018
Monday word, 12 Mar 2018
Lenten Monday4 (12 Mar 2018)
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J., 5-day Directed Retreat
Spring is a time of reorganizing. Nature reorganizes itself to awaken life hidden in winter’s chill. We reorganize through the ritual of spring cleaning. Lent is the springtime of the church; it invites us to allow our triune God to organize our inmost selves around the paschal mystery of Jesus: his dying and rising.
People embark on Lent with hopes and intentions to do that. Midway many of us find a need to recommit to our hopes and intentions. Lent can dissolve into some-thing other than renewing our baptismal identity, our sacramental unity with Jesus dead and risen. One may fast, notice some outward progress and fast to lose weight; another gives alms to make a tithing goal; others pray to satisfy a guilty conscience. Lent invites us to fast, to feed the poor and to pray not as ends in themselves but to help us grow more compassionate—to imitate [God’s] kindness.1
Retreat can help us say Yes to God’s invitation to reorganize our lives. Retreat allows us to know with our hearts how God desires to create us new. God’s new creation may be a healing; it may be heartfelt knowing our true selves; it may be noticing God’s desires for us and our deep desires intersect.
A way to felt-knowledge of God creating us anew is patience: patience with ourselves and patiently letting ourselves be at least slightly absorbed in God, Jesus, Mother Mary, our patron saints and other sainted people in our lives. Patient prayer is also present-time prayer. No need to accomplish anything; rather take God at God’s word: I exult in my people. Enjoy God exulting in us so much that we notice God create us each present moment.