as Gaeilge Po polsku

Fraternal community is a God-enlightened space in which to experience the hidden presence of the Risen Lord.

John Paul II - Vita Consecrata

Lenten Journey of Love

Opening Prayer:

Jesus you came down from above to lift us in Divine adoption.
In the waters of Baptism you breathe the spirit of Divine life into the soul.
After coming down, when your life on earth was complete, you were lifted up.
Lifted up on the cross to show how much you loved us by taking on the wounds of sin due to us, and then lifted up in your resurrection, you returned to, the Father's glory.
May our lives be a constant yes to you Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

Reflection 1

Jesus calls Nicodemus to be born again in the life of the spirit. He is invited to leave behind the ways of darkness and come to life in the light of Christ. We too are called to step out of the ways of darkness into the light of Christ. God does not force his grace upon us; he respects our free will. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus means devoting ourselves to a progressive purification of our desires, of our affections, in order to grasp with ever-greater clarity the will of God that it is his love for us that directs our life.

If we have faith in God and we adhere to his will, we can go forward with freedom and joy, without fear of the future, even if unknown and without sterile regrets for a past already placed in the hands of God. The important thing is never to lose sight of Him whom we follow, progressively purifying our hearts of every idol. Going forward, changing, creating ever new space in us, we fall in love with Him who remakes us in his image.

Reflection 2

God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God's love is the only love in the world that is totally and truly free, that asks nothing for itself, but only gives. Gods love for his people has its roots in eternity. He chose us in Christ before the world was made (Eph1:4). He has loved us with a love that is strong and tender, gentle and constant. By loving people he makes them grow, he restores dignity and hope. All who draw near to Jesus with a simple heart emerged transformed by his love.

  • Do I believe that God loves me?

Jesus spoke to St Francis when he was before the cross in San Damiano, if Jesus spoke to each of us now and asked us if we really believed in his merciful love for us, what would our answer be? On a personal level, our own unworthiness tempts us to say " how could God love anyone as unfaithful and negligent as I am. I am not worthy", but let us listen to what God says to us: "whenever our conscience condemns us God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything"(1 John 3:19)

If we want to know how much God loved us we have a simple and certain way of knowing: by looking at how much he suffered in his body and soul. Jesus died in his heart before he died physically. Jesus still loves us because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us.

  • What can my response be to God's love for me?

  • How can I bring God's love to a world where there is so much unfaithfulness, so many disappointments, so much hatred, which I hear about every day?

Anyone who has been betrayed once or hurt once is afraid to love again and be loved. Firstly we can return God's love, secondly we can love one another as God loved us. In that way we will go beyond the confines of space to our broken world, even to the battlefield in Iraq. We are called to be counter cultural, and everything we do has an impact on the world we live in.

Only if we are untiring pilgrims, straining for the future will it be possible to live everyday life as a perennial Easter of resurrection, as a passage towards a new life reborn in Christ by the Spirit. Christ's love manifested on the cross is still possible in the Spirit and only this love can bring about a change in the world because it changes hearts. We ourselves will become hope; generators of new shoots of fresh life, resolutely transforming the world we live in.

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