Support Us
Phone (701) 974 3315 Address PO Box A (418 3rd Ave., W.) Richardton, ND 58652
Social
Follow us on Facebook!

A Lenten Itinerary

by Br. Alban Petesch, OSB
Our Lenten journey can be plotted out for us according to this year’s Sunday Gospels. With our destination as Jerusalem and Easter, each of the stops along our way is both road marker and program for our spiritual lives. Let us begin! Stop #1:  We begin our journey in the desert alone with Jesus. As often happens in the desert, we confront dangers and trials. First, we face our most basic cravings, not just for food and water, but anything that might fill the emptiness and the void within. We clutch and grasp; we strive to possess. Then we encounter that age-old temptation of testing God: “By my goodness, by my obedience, by my long-suffering, surely you, God, owe me something.” And finally, there is the allurement of power, of control. Most of us will never rule nations or even run corporations, but we endlessly strive to control our own little kingdoms, often to the exclusion of others or even the demands of God. Stop #2:  Having traversed the desert and endured its perils we are led to the mountaintop. Beginning to empty ourselves of the demands of self, here we enjoy the sight of Jesus transfigured. In this glimpse of his divinity, we realize that we need time to slow down and spend time with Jesus, the Christ, to “pitch a tent” and camp out with him for a while. Our converse should not only be with other people, but with God. We must listen to Jesus. Thus rested and refreshed after our mountaintop retreat, we can descend to the plain and resume our journey. Stop #3: You might think that after a struggle in the desert and a respite on the mountain we would be ready to reach our destination, but the journey has only begun. Rather than pursue a straight course for our goal we seem to make a detour to Samaria, a place that could be quite hostile to an observant Jew like Jesus. For us, Samaria can be the unexpected turns that life takes, turns that are not always agreeable. We learn at this stop that openness must be our attitude to both people and situations. Here, Jesus encounters a woman, who by her sex, nationality and dubious reputation, symbolizes all people outside the Jewish religion. Jesus has come to share his message of salvation with everyone. On her part, the woman is receptive to Jesus; she offers him hospitality; she stays to hear him out even when he seems to know an uncomfortable amount about her. In this interchange, both Jesus and the unnamed woman give and receive, although Jesus is always the more generous. The gift Jesus shares is the water of life, water which quenches the craving we discovered in the desert. Stop #4:  After the detour in Samaria we resume our journey and head towards Jerusalem. Along the way Jesus encounters a man, blind from birth. Despite the constraints of religion and the pressures facing him, Jesus stops because of this man’s entreaty. The blind man seeks someone who can help him. Along life’s journey we may sometimes find that we are more like Jesus, able to help those in need. At other times, we may be more like the man born blind, requiring help and healing. The help and the need will take various forms, but like both Jesus and the blind man, we may have to face hesitation and reluctance if not outright hostility in helping others or asking for help ourselves. Most often the unwillingness will come from within: the imposition on my time and resources, natural aversion, relinquishment of my independence and self-perception. Yet again Jesus offers a gift: the gift of light. This light can help us to see life in a new way and reorder our relationship to God and to others.
Spiritual Reflections Spiritual Reflections

A Lenten Itinerary

by Br. Alban Petesch, OSB
Our Lenten journey can be plotted out for us according to this year’s Sunday Gospels. With our destination as Jerusalem and Easter, each of the stops along our way is both road marker and program for our spiritual lives. Let us begin! Stop #1:  We begin our journey in the desert alone with Jesus. As often happens in the desert, we confront dangers and trials. First, we face our most basic cravings, not just for food and water, but anything that might fill the emptiness and the void within. We clutch and grasp; we strive to possess. Then we encounter that age-old temptation of testing God: “By my goodness, by my obedience, by my long-suffering, surely you, God, owe me something.” And finally, there is the allurement of power, of control. Most of us will never rule nations or even run corporations, but we endlessly strive to control our own little kingdoms, often to the exclusion of others or even the demands of God. Stop #2:  Having traversed the desert and endured its perils we are led to the mountaintop. Beginning to empty ourselves of the demands of self, here we enjoy the sight of Jesus transfigured. In this glimpse of his divinity, we realize that we need time to slow down and spend time with Jesus, the Christ, to “pitch a tent” and camp out with him for a while. Our converse should not only be with other people, but with God. We must listen to Jesus. Thus rested and refreshed after our mountaintop retreat, we can descend to the plain and resume our journey. Stop #3: You might think that after a struggle in the desert and a respite on the mountain we would be ready to reach our destination, but the journey has only begun. Rather than pursue a straight course for our goal we seem to make a detour to Samaria, a place that could be quite hostile to an observant Jew like Jesus. For us, Samaria can be the unexpected turns that life takes, turns that are not always agreeable. We learn at this stop that openness must be our attitude to both people and situations. Here, Jesus encounters a woman, who by her sex, nationality and dubious reputation, symbolizes all people outside the Jewish religion. Jesus has come to share his message of salvation with everyone. On her part, the woman is receptive to Jesus; she offers him hospitality; she stays to hear him out even when he seems to know an uncomfortable amount about her. In this interchange, both Jesus and the unnamed woman give and receive, although Jesus is always the more generous. The gift Jesus shares is the water of life, water which quenches the craving we discovered in the desert. Stop #4:  After the detour in Samaria we resume our journey and head towards Jerusalem. Along the way Jesus encounters a man, blind from birth. Despite the constraints of religion and the pressures facing him, Jesus stops because of this man’s entreaty. The blind man seeks someone who can help him. Along life’s journey we may sometimes find that we are more like Jesus, able to help those in need. At other times, we may be more like the man born blind, requiring help and healing. The help and the need will take various forms, but like both Jesus and the blind man, we may have to face hesitation and reluctance if not outright hostility in helping others or asking for help ourselves. Most often the unwillingness will come from within: the imposition on my time and resources, natural aversion, relinquishment of my independence and self-perception. Yet again Jesus offers a gift: the gift of light. This light can help us to see life in a new way and reorder our relationship to God and to others.
Spiritual Reflections Spiritual Reflections
Support us
Social
Follow us on Facebook!

Email us
Phone (701) 974 3315 Address PO Box A Richardton, ND 58601