It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautifulcountry lies in between. (Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses)
It seems just a few weeks ago that we celebrated Christmas, and now the Lenten season is upon us. What a busy “few weeks” they were! Fortunately for us, we have these sacred pauses in our daily lives to reflect, to pray, and to turn the eyes and ears of our hearts toward the mystery of God revealed in the birth and death of Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I need these sacred pauses before the mystery of God’s unfathomable love. When we come into contact with mystery, we encounter the Divine in some concrete, daily part of our lives.There is something breathtaking about holding a newborn child as well as the hand of the dying. It is God’s kenosis emptying grace into our lives. The birth and death of Jesus are inextricable. The wood of the tree that becomes a cradle also becomes the cross that will bear us, birth us, hold us and swaddle us into something mysterious yet transforming.
The journey in between these two is sacred and filled with the miraculous. Lent is a time to reflect on that “savage and beautiful country” we travel through, to marvel at God’s presence to us along the way, and to empty ourselves of whatever holds us back from taking the next transforming step.May your soul’s journey closer to God this Lenten season be filled with daily surrendering to beauty, mystery and love.
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.