My Dear Sisters,

We are at the threshold of the season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. The imposition of ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday reminds us of the call to repentance and to believe in the good news. It is a season to celebrate the mysteries of our redemption – passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. During this season of Lent the suffering Lord invites us to put love in all that we think, do and act. When there is love then all our actions gain a new meaning: almsgiving becomes generous and spontaneous; prayer becomes union with God and leads to action and fasting becomes a sign of our solidarity with the poor and dependence on God.

A 91-year-old woman died after living a very long dignified life. When she met God, she asked Him something that had really bothered her for a very long time. “If all men and women are created in God's image, and if all are created equal, why do people treat each other so badly?” God replied that each person who enters our life has a unique lesson to teach us. It is only through these lessons that we learn about life, people and our relationships with God. This confused the woman, so God began to explain:

•    When someone lies to you, it teaches you that things are not always what they seem. The truth is often far beneath the surface. Look beyond the masks people wear if you want to know what is in their hearts. Remove your own masks to let people know who you really are.
•    When someone steals from you it teaches you that nothing is forever. Always appreciate what you have. You never know when you might lose it. Never take anyone for granted, because today is the only guarantee you may have.
•    When someone mocks you, it teaches you that no two people are alike. When you encounter people who are different from you, do not judge them by how they look or act, instead base it on the contents of what is in their hearts.
•    When someone breaks your heart, it teaches you that loving someone does not always mean that the person will love you back. But don’t turn your back on love, because when you find the right person, the joy that one person brings you will make up for all of your past hurts.
•    When someone holds a grudge against you, it teaches you that everyone makes mistakes.
•    When you are wronged, the most virtuous thing you can do is forgive the offender without pretence. Forgiving those who have hurt us is often the most difficult and painful of life’s experiences, but it is also the most courageous thing a person can do.
•    When someone ridicules you, it teaches you that nobody is perfect. Accept people for their merits and be tolerant of their flaws. Do not ever reject someone for imperfections over which they have no control.

Upon hearing the Lord’s wisdom, the old woman became so impressed that she exclaimed, “Every circumstance in life teaches us valuable lessons. Marvellous!”

Dear sisters, let us not lose any opportunity that knocks at our door during this season of grace which invites us to learn valuable lessons on life. During this Lenten journey, let us not regard ourselves better than others; let us not be proud of our good works, true peace dwells in those who are humble of heart.

Let the prayer of St Ephrem the Syrian be ours “O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power and idle talk. But give me rather the spirit of chastity, humility and patience. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my sisters; for thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.”

I wish you dear Sisters a Holy and Grace-filled Season of Lent!

Sr Mariette BS
Provincial Superior
Lent 2015

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