Towards the Light - Illuminating a path in Lent
With the dog days of summer ending and the work and school years now properly underway, Catholics are being presented with their annual opportunity for reflection and growth.
This Lenten period, which starts with Ash Wednesday on February 22nd and culminates at Easter on April 8th, always invites a time of introspection.
As it has done for many decades, the Brisbane Archdiocese has produced a series of Lenten resources that can be enjoyed individually or in a group setting.
Entitled ‘Towards the Light’, at one level the resources are designed to shepherd the user towards Calvary and ultimately the light, joy and triumph of the Resurrection.
A myriad of other personal interpretations could also apply however, including that of reconnecting with the faith after a period away; of turning away from destructive or negative behaviours and back towards the ultimate life-giving source, or also of a conversion experience.
As the commissioning editor of the resource, Rob Cosgrove, has reflected “light is a theme that appears right from the Prologue of the Gospel: ‘In the beginning was the Word … What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’ (John 1:1,3-5)”
“So important is the theme of light that the early Church often referred to baptism as ‘illumination’, Cosgrove said.
“Indeed Pope Benedict XVI, in his Easter Vigil homily (2005) emphasised the significance of the symbol of light at the end of our Lenten journey:
The liturgy of the holy night of Easter – after the
blessing of the paschal candle – begins with a
procession behind the light and towards the
light. This procession symbolically sums up the
entire … journey of Lent, but also calls to
mind Israel’s long journey through the desert
towards the Promised Land, and lastly, it
symbolizes the journey of humanity, which in
the night of history was seeking light, seeking
paradise, seeking true life, reconciliation
between the peoples, between heaven and
earth, universal peace.
“Through prayerful reading and listening to the Lenten Gospels each week (each of the readings plus other exercises and meditations are included in the adult resource) we cast a new light on our lives and our world,” he said.
To order the Brisbane Archdiocesan Lenten resources please visit http://www.lentprogram.com/asp/index.asp?pgid=12032 . Alternately you can phone 07 3336 9181.
In addition to the adult Lenten program, other resources have been specifically developed to cater to children and families and enhance their experience of this key liturgical season.
Released by the Catholic Communications Office
February 10, 2012