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1st Sunday of Lent

1st Sunday of Lent 26/2/2023 Mt 4, 1-14

Sooner or later every human heart yearns for holiness, spirituality, for God. Mystics speak of a divinity all around them, which is within our grasp too. This would help make our lives meaningful, beautiful and rich, if we could only discover it. People try all sorts of methods, techniques, spiritual exercises, formulas to find it, then, after years of fruitless striving, become discouraged, confused and wonder what went wrong.

Yet they never stop to consider the simple fact that their efforts will get them nowhere. Effort does not lead to growth; effort, whatever form it may take, whether it be willpower or habit or a technique or a spiritual exercise, does not lead to change. At best it leads to repression and a covering over of the root disease. Effort may change the behaviour but not the person.

With spirituality and holiness, it is not what you do that brings it to you. What matters is what you are, what you become.

Holiness is not an achievement; it is a grace. A grace called awareness, a grace called looking, observing, understanding. If you would only switch on the light of awareness and observe yourself and everything around you throughout the day, if you would see yourself reflected in the mirror of awareness the way you see your face reflected in a looking glass, that is, accurately, clearly, exactly as it is without the slightest distortion or addition, and if you observed this reflection without any judgment or condemnation, you would experience all sorts of marvellous changes. You will not be in control of those changes, or be able to plan them in advance, or decide how and when they take place. It is this non-judgmental awareness alone that heals and changes and makes one grow in its own way and in its own time.

This is what Jesus discovered when he went into the desert!

Anthony de Mello (adapted)

Fr. Thomas O'BRIEN a.a


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