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A positive way to approach Lent

Easter-rotator-photo-300x200I recently came across this quote from Ilia Delio, OSF, a contemporary theologian:

“The choices we make in love and for love co-create our future. When we see ourselves as part of the larger whole, we act on behalf of the whole of which we are a part. … A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the whole biotic community. … It is wrong when it tends to do otherwise. We need a new way of being in the world that broadens diversity, deepens interiority and strengthens relationality.”

I’ve come across this fascinating quote just in the nick of time — a Lenten reflection is due!

The ideas jam-packed into these five sentences both challenge me and stir a sense of excitement in me as I begin to prepare for Lent and the practices of prayer and action that would help me choose “in love and for love” for the good of the whole.

What prayer and practices of mine will “preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the whole biotic community?” What a positive way to approach the forty days of Lent, the forty days of mindfully retracing Jesus’ journey from death into life!

To deliberately, intentionally, mindfully act to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty that presents itself to me over and over again — in a million guises. But how do I shape this lofty ideal into a daily practice of prayer, of action?

Thoughts are swirling around in my head — actions and prayer around water, air, soil, children, women. But how to narrow all the possibilities into one meaningful prayer and one meaningful practice that will carry me through the days of Lent? This will take more quiet, more prayer, some conversation with a soul mate.

I promise I won’t cop out. Before Ash Wednesday (the day you are reading this), I will take the time to make a plan, embrace the excitement these ideas have stirred in me. I won’t cop out and give up desserts instead.

And you? What prayer and practices will you be about? What choices will you make in love and for love to co-create the future?

No matter what they are, let us hold one another in prayer these days of Lent, of preparation for Easter. May we ask for one another openness to the graces Providence waits to bestow on us as we open our minds and hearts to “that Providence that thus far has never failed us.”

Denise Wilkinson, SP
General Superior

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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