The Lenten Journey


The time of lent can be consider as a journey  with the Christian community into a deeper communion with Jesus in his love for His Abba and love for each and every one of us God’s beloved children.  So it is not a journey that we make alone.  We are also supported in this journey by Mother Nature.

Here in our part of the world the time of lent coincides with the coming of spring as our planet begins to tilt closer toward the Sun.  The longer gradually warming days tend to brighten and warm our spirits.

Each workday morning as I approach the door to the directors’ wing of Loyola House I am greeted by a magnificent silver maple tree that invites me to “Celebrate”.   But celebrate what?

Most days it feels like it is the invitation to celebrate life itself in all its wonder.   Presently its leafless branches are cold and grey but even now at their tips tiny buds are preparing to burst into life.

These buds have to die in order that the maple keys, the seeds to new life can spring forth and go whirling wherever the wind carries them.  A few will drop into fertile soil to die to themselves and thus continue the cycle of life as the seedlings begin to sprout in the warming soil.

In the gospel of John Jesus uses a similar image when speaking of his own journey into death and resurrection as a prototype for each of his followers; “unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies it bears much fruit.  Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. …”.

Hate in this context and in the language of the time really means to reject our self-centered ego and live in the freedom of our truth as beloved children of God.  Hopefully our Lenten journey will be a time to choose more deeply and consistently our belovedness.

Bill Clarke, SJ, is a member of the team of spiritual directors at Loyola House of Ignatius Jesuit Centre of Guelph and continues his commitment to L'Arche.

  • Peter Chouinard
    Posted at 05:59h, 10 April Reply

    Fr. Bill,

    Thank you for this beautiful article. I have fond memories of my time at Loyola House and recall many mornings and evenings when I would see you walking with our Lord.

    May your walks and talks with Jesus continue to surprise and nourish you in your life and in your ministries.

  • Sharon Walters
    Posted at 08:53h, 10 April Reply


  • Charles Pottie-Pâté
    Posted at 11:10h, 10 April Reply

    Lovely reflection Bill, thank you…. to choose more consistently and deeply our belovedness and the loveliness of all creation. Yes Yes.

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