Welcome to The Cry From The Cross, this year’s Lent Retreat.
For many of us, Lent is a heavy time of year in comparison to Advent. In December we face the darkest time of the year, but we know that afterwards it can only get lighter. Advent anticipates the joy and revelry of Christmas, whereas Lent can feel like a long, dark journey with only greater darkness waiting for us at the end with the grim drama of Holy Week. But the word Lent means Spring, and if we embrace it as a journey to new life and new beginnings, we will be able to set our faces towards Jerusalem, like Jesus, and experience the power of his suffering but also his risen life within us.
We are told that Jesus spoke seven times from the Cross. They were seven cries of human need and human vulnerability in the face of suffering. But they are also cries of hidden hope, of longing for the union between God and humanity that makes all things possible, including the healing of our whole world. You might like to pause and ponder what you have cried out for in times of trial. What are you longing for this Lent?
Our Lent retreat this year will focus on Jesus’ own experience of what it means to be fully human. There is nothing that any of us has suffered or will suffer that can ever separate us from the love of God our Creator. This Lent, we begin our pilgrimage to the place of his suffering which is also the place of God’s ultimate triumph over death and darkness.
Do you sense a feeling of resistance to Lent within yourself? Or do you feel drawn to follow him wherever he leads? What are your feelings as you set out on this pilgrim journey with him?
How might reflecting on the Cries from the Cross take you deeper into the paschal mystery?
As you begin, what are you bringing to God? What hopes do you have for this retreat?
At the beginning of this Lent journey, you might like to take some time to become aware of all those around the world praying this retreat with you.
Pray for them, remembering too all those who are united with Jesus in his humiliation and suffering…all those for whom he gave his life, to bring healing, hope and liberation to our world.
You have given all to me
To you Lord, I return it
Everything is Yours
Do with it what you will
Give me only your love and your grace
That, is enough for me.