On Sunday, March 11th, thirty young men and women participated in a Lenten day of prayer and reflection, which was organized by four vocation directors (including Sr. Anna Maria) and a lay discernment minister for the Friars of the Atonement. The theme of the day, “Embracing the Light in Times of Darkness,” was beautifully developed by Fr. Larry Lewis, MM. Through prayer, the symbolism of film and personal artistic expression, Fr. Larry invited each person to recall moments of deep darkness in their lives (loneliness, abandonment, confusion, suffering), and there discover the presence of God’s unconditional love, at the center of their struggle. “Spirituality is anything (emptiness, relationship, beauty, compassion, insight), which reminds us of the presence of God.” Living through the difficulties of life, and not running from them, strengthens us in our journey toward wholeness of being.
Sr. Maureen Hanahoe, MM led the group in the Mandala exercise, which was greatly enjoyed by the participants, each of whom later had an opportunity to share his or her Mandala with the larger group. Sr. Anna Maria then concluded the day by leading participants in a closing ritual, asking them to share their hope as they continue their journey toward Easter. The Holy Spirit was alive and well within each participant. The organizing team felt that the work involved in planning the day was fruitful for all involved. At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, both the organizers and participants went forth with hope, each continuing his or her personal journey, filled with renewed energy.