March 18, 2020
by Director of Mission, Mr Geoff Brodie
Lent is the season for personal conversion. Our Catholic tradition says that this may be aided by three practices that deepen our friendship with Jesus:
- Prayer, where we spend time abiding in the loving presence of God
- Fasting and abstinence, where we actively gain control over our earthly appetites and renew our commitment to the truly good things in life.
- Good works, where we put the Greatest Commandment into action: Love God and love our neighbour
Lent is a privileged time when we give our attention to Jesus’ calls for a conversion of heart and mind. There is an immediacy in Jesus’ proclamation of God’s kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) But we must not forget that this call to conversion is a call to friendship. It does not take much reflection to know and affirm that our friendships change us, as we drop our own concerns and replace them with the concerns of our friend. For the sake of our friendship with Jesus we are called to Prayer, Fasting and Good Works, and through these habits the poor become our neighbours, our neighbours become our friends, and our community is united by a real and active love. We call this unity the Kingdom of God.
In this time of uncertainty Christ’s call to conversion must continue to resound in the hearts of the St Patrick’s College community. In response to the current challenge to College Masses, excursions and events, to health and economy, is the ever-present task of bringing the love and goodness of God’s Kingdom into the world, not through a sense of duty, but motivated and sustained by the joy of friendship. God’s Kingdom on earth does not mysteriously “do away’ with economies, health systems, social institutions, but transforms and perfects them into instruments of God’s love. Our endeavours of responding to the Covid-19 is not just a human work. We are not alone in this. Through our Lenten observances of prayer, fasting and good works, it is the movement of a “contrite heart,” drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first. (Catechism, 1428) In discovering God anew in the joy of friendship with Jesus, we receive as a gift of conversion, the wisdom that converts the whole world into the unity of God’s love. For Lent is the invitation to the Resurrection.
You are invited to spend ten minutes a day with the following prayer, slowly mediating on each line.
- Notice the feelings and questions that emerge in the desires of your heart.
- Where do these feelings and questions lead you?
- Who do you need to be to respond fully and joyfully to these questions and feelings?
- For wisdom is not knowledge but a disposition of the heart.
- Do you desire your decisions in the here and now to stand up to the criteria of Divine Wisdom.
Great is the wisdom of the Lord!
God Almighty, Your Wisdom includes
An understanding of what is fair,
What is logical, what is true,
What is right and what is lasting.
It mirrors Your pure intellect!
I pray to You to grant me the grace of such Wisdom,
That my labours may reflect Your insight.
Your Wisdom expands in Your creations,
Displaying complexity and multiplicity.
Your Wisdom is an eternity ahead of each person.
May Your wisdom flourish forever!