We have moved into the sacred season of Lent. A time when Christians gather as church to enter the transformative process which this season offers us. A time when we Journey with Jesus through darkness to the light of Resurrection. Lent which comes from the old English word for springtime, also ushers in the springtime of our hemisphere and of our hearts. The longer days, the nearness of Sister Sun and the promise of leaf and flower remind us that new life is all around - just waiting under the snow and in the earth to surprise us with joy!
I have a beautiful African violet near a window in my office and she teaches me about this Lenten journey. Her green leaves weave a mandala of hope as they cradle her buds then her blossoms. As I sat with Violet, for that is her name, I listened for what she could teach me about Lent and Easter. I was taken into the Paschal Mystery lived out in our lives, the mystery of life, death, and resurrection. The mandala of hope reminds me of the fact that each of us is like a leaf; growing together, filling empty spaces, sometimes taking over another’s space, supporting another’s growth, or stepping aside so the other will have room as we continue our journey.
In the midst of this hope there is suffering. We have been presented with suffering in many ways during this year of Pandemic and unrest in the world and maybe in our own hearts. The blossoms on my plant are purple, the color the church uses during Lent in our liturgical celebrations.
As I continued to sit with Violet, I saw within her blossoms a beautiful golden center which speaks to me of resurrection amid suffering. As we journey through Lent, I pray that each of us will do so conscious that "We walk with a God who walks with us.” *, the Risen, Cosmic Christ.
In order to assist people in their journey, we offer various spiritual opportunities through the Martha Ministry of Spirituality.
~Sr. Claire Mac Neil
* (S.T.R. in Martha Wisdom)