February 27, 2015 | Issue 24

Chaplains' Newsletter
Lent

This year I am excited to begin reading a new book that I found as a resource recommended by Father Richard Rohr from his daily email reflections that I receive. The book is called "God For Us; Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter (2014)," edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe. The book is a compilation of writings for each week of the Lenten season and offers rich historical information about each of the feasts and fasts of Lent, written by several leading faith thinkers and writers; Ronald Rolheiser OMI, Beth Bevis, Richard Rohr OFM, Lauren F. Winner, Scott Cairns, James Schaap, Luci Shaw and Kathleen Norris.

 

One of the two editors, Greg Pennoyer, offers lovely thoughts in the preface of the book: "If Advent/Christmas is a revelation of God's presence with us, then Lent-Easter is a revelation of God's desire to use all of life for our wholeness and our healing - the revelation that he will pull life from death (p. xi)." Pennoyer goes on to suggest that "Lent cleanses the palate so that we can taste life more fully. It clears the lens so that we can see what we routinely miss within our circumstances. Lent and Easter reveal the God who is for us in all of life - for our liberation, for our healing, for our wholeness. Lent and Easter remind us that even in death there can be found resurrection (p.x)." What an encouragement and important reminder this is. Perhaps a visual exercise would be to have a dirty lens or a dirty piece of glass and have students try to read something or describe a picture while looking through the dirty lens.

 

It seems common within the Church and in popular culture to over-emphasize the idea that Lent is a time to refrain from or to 'give up' certain pleasures; however, a more traditional understanding reminds us that Lent, or lente in Latin, means slowly. In this way, Lent invites us to slow down and to take stock of ourselves and our lives in order to ready ourselves for the coming of the feast of Easter. It is a time to lovingly and gently clean the lens that we are looking through in order to see more clearly the things that we would otherwise take for granted or avoid; to look more deeply into ourselves in our longing to have deeper intimacy with God.

 

Poet and writer, Luci Shaw, says it beautifully in her poem entitled "The Sighting":

 

"Out of the shame of spittle,

the scratch of dirt,

he made an anointing.

 

Oh, it was an agony - the gravel

in the eye, the rude slime, the brittle

clay caked on the soft eyelid.

 

But with the hurt

light came leaping, in the shock & shine

abstracts took flesh & flew;

 

winged words like view & space,

shape & shade & green & sky,

bird & horizon & sun

 

turned real in a man's eye.

Thus was truth given a face

& dark dispelled, & healing done (p.124)."  

Student Activity - 'Lent In A Bag' Supplies:
 

  • Lunch sized paper bags
  • Small Ziploc bags of a small bit of sand
  • Small stones
  • Wooden clothes pins
  • Small candles (such as tea lights) 

Create one 'Lent in a bag' for each student. For each bag, fill a lunch sized paper bag with a small Ziploc bag of a bit of sand, a small stone, a wooden clothes pin, a small candle and a print out of the 'blurb' below which explains each item. Use the questions connected with the explanations to engage students in dialogue.


Sand


The sand is a reminder of Jesus' wilderness experience when he was tested for 40 days in the desert. The desert can be a place where we feel a kind of dryness in our spiritual journey or we may be facing difficult circumstances in life. What constitutes wilderness in your life? What have you learned there? Is there an area of dryness in your life right now that needs refreshing? How might you seek refreshment?


Stone
 

The stone is a reminder of the bumps in the road that we come across in life and in our spiritual journey. It also serves as a challenge to us in how we will choose to respond to those difficulties. Might there be a stony place in you that needs transforming? Is there some habit that you've formed that you want to see changed? Is there a way to use your difficulties as an encouragement for others?  


Human figure


As Jesus became human in the incarnation, he demonstrated a profound act of love to meet us literally where we are, in human flesh. This act of love can also point to the fact that God believes in us and has created us to do great things. As Saint Therese of Lisieux said: "Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them." In God's deep love for us, we are continually invited into relationship with God and into participating in the work of God throughout the world, even in seemingly small ways. As you engage in this Lenten season, what might you plan to be intentional about over these 40 days to move you closer into being a reflection of the Christ who lives in and through you? 


Candle

 

Lent begins in the dimness of late winter and ends with the burst of bright spring. In John's gospel, Jesus says: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (8:12)." What an encouragement Jesus offers us. Further to this, we are reminded in the book of Isaiah to "walk in the light of the Lord (2:5)." So, where do you shine? How do you keep your light lit? In what ways do you want your light to shine a bit brighter or to encourage someone else's light to shine a bit brighter this Lenten season?


Powerful Lenten Video Resources Online
 

A 2 min, 9 sec contemplative video by Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing (www.osv.com).
 

Celebrate a Sacred Lent
 

A 1 min, 15 sec upbeat video by Brian Flanagan.
 

So What's the Story with LENT?

 


Sincerely,


Melissa Page Nichols
Pastoral Counsellor 

King's University College

Melissa.PageNichols@kings.uwo.ca

Upcoming Events
London Deanery Thinkfast 
February 28 - March 1
For students in grade 8 to 12.  Click here for poster.

Lenten Day of Prayer
March 1,  1:30 & 3:30pm
Labatt Hall 105, King's University College, 266 Epworth Ave, London

Bishop Mark Hagemoen will offer two sessions in the afternoon. He will be preaching at the 10:30am and 5pm Eucharist at Windermere on the Mount. A fellowship meal follows the evening liturgy. Click here for more details.


Lenten Taize Evening Prayer Retreat 
March 2, 7-9pm
Windermere on the Mount, 1486 Richmond Street, London
Click here for poster.

Fed & Taught: Ministry at the table of the word and sacrament 
March 7, 9:30am-3:30pm
Christ the King University Parish, London
This workshop will address current practice in the Diocese of London for Lectors and Auxiliary Ministers of Holy Communion. There is no fee for this gathering. A light lunch will be provided. RSVP is required to 519-963-1477.  Click here for poster.

Veritas Series
Connecting to Faith and Spirituality in the Digital Age: 
A Franciscan Perspective
March 12, 7:30pm
Joanne & Peter Kenny Theatre, Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London
A free lecture by Fr. Daniel P. Horan. Click here for more details. 

King's Open House for future students, families and friends 
March 13, 6-9pm
March 14, 1-4pm
Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London
Click here to register.  

Living the Sacrifice of Christ: Lenten Workshop with Sr. Theresa
March 21, 9:30am-3:30pm
Vitali Student Lounge, Wemple Building, 266 Epworth Ave, London
To register please contact Lisa Caeiro. Lunch will be provided.

Songs of Celebration
March 28, 7:30pm
Joanne & Peter Kenny Theatre, Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London
The King's University College Chamber Choir will perform works that reflect the values and identity of the college - faith, joy, hope, charity, justice, and service.

King's Entrance Scholarships and Awards (Deadline March 15, 2015)

Please encourage your Grade 12 students to apply for these scholarships at King's.

 

The Agnes Marie Coleman Award

 

The Cardinal Thomas C. Collins Scholarship for Catholic Student Leadership

 

The Bill and Hazel Payne Award

 

Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope) Entrance Award

 

The Emmett and Loretta Regan Memorial Award

 

The Bishop John Michael Sherlock Catholic Leadership Award

 

The Sisters of St. Joseph Scholarship

 

The Social Justice Scholarship

 

The Boys' and Girls' Club of London Foundation Entrance Bursary

Youth News
Second Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent
Resource
Diocesan Ministers Prayer Calendar
Campus Ministry Team
Pastor/Chaplain

Administrative Assistant

Pastoral Counsellor

Campus Minister

Campus Minister / Director of KUC Chamber Choir

Maija Wilson 
Campus Minister
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Office of Campus Ministry | Christ the King University Parish  
King's University College
266 Epworth Avenue
London, Ontario, N6A 2M3
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