Online Lent Recollection 2008
Every place is God’s dwelling place.
But because of the mysteries of Holy Week,
there are three places that offer us special opportunities
to encounter the Lord during the season of Lent:
the GARDEN (Holy Thursday), the HILL (Good Friday),
and the TOMB (Black Saturday).
Online Lent Recollection 2009
Ours is a God of Silence,
but He keeps different kinds of silences.
During Lent, more than ever, He falls silent.
His deepest silences are experienced
in the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus.
The silences of Lent are different from one another.
The Silence of Gethsemane, the Silence of Calvary,
and the Silence of the Empty Tomb–
each one has a different quality and a different meaning.
Maybe if we learn to understand God’s silences in Lent,
we will better understand His silences–and language–
in our own lives.
Online Lent Recollection 2010
God in the dungeons?!
Dungeons are not exactly the first place we go to
when we want to look for God.
We expect to find Him in churches
and the other “holier” places of our lives.
But that’s exactly what Lent does not teach us about God.
In the mysteries of Lent,
God enters precisely the “dungeons of our lives”—
the deepest, darkest experiences of human pain and suffering—
because He wants us to find Him there.
Online Lent Recollection 2011
We’ve all been through Lenten retreats before,
and they’ve naturally all focused on the good guys.
But what if for a change, this time we talk
about the “bad guys” instead?
We just might learn a few things from them.
If we—just this once—put ourselves in their shoes,
we just might discover some things
about the Lord and about ourselves.
Online Lent Recollection 2012
For this online retreat, we will be relying on three guides:
Martha for Holy Thursday,
Simon of Cyrene for Good Friday,
and Thomas the Apostle for Black Saturday–
selected because they were once in their lives
bystanders and fence-sitters.
This retreat this year has been designed for people like them.
Perhaps you’re one of them:
too busy to be involved,
too unsure to be committed.
If you open your eyes and hearts,
you might just learn from our three guides.
Online Lent Recollection 2013
Questions are more important than we think.
During his public ministry, our Lord was asked numerous questions.
His life was nothing short of controversial.
His work and his very person raised many questions.
But every question that he was asked
served like a door that opened the way
to getting to know Him more.
Some people chose to walk through that door;
many chose to shut it or walk away.
But the truth is, questions can lead to deeper faith.
As our Lord said when he spoke of prayer:
“Ask and you shall receive.” (Luke 11:10)
Speaking of questions, we say:
“Ask and you shall believe.”
Washing feet and cleansing temples:
Two significant actions performed by our Lord
before His Passion and Death.
What can they mean for us
as we enter into the mysteries of Holy Week?
Do they have something more to teach us
about ourselves, our lives, our Lord?
It’s not easy finding God, but in times of disquiet.
When our hearts are most restless and most in need of Him,
they are also most open.
In what should be a season of deepest disquiet,
when the Father seems most silent and absent in His life,
our Lord Jesus shows us how to discover
God’s subversive presence
in the most unexpected places in our lives.
What better way to observe the Jubilee Year of Mercy
this Holy Week than to join our online Lenten retreat?
This Holy Week, three special doors lead to God’s mercy.
They are found in the Upper Room, the City of Jerusalem, and Hell.
Each of these doors will open on Holy Thursday,
Good Friday, and Black Saturday.
Learn about these virtual doors of mercy.
Find the key to each of them,
and make the choice to walk through them.
We hope that just like the estimated 10,000 holy doors
in churches all over the world,
our three virtual doors will also lead
those who enter them more deeply
into the mercy of God.
We live in times of disenchantment.
How can we pray in a world
that is skeptical and almost completely without hope?
We turn our eyes to Jesus
and learn from the Master
during a most disenchanted time of his life.
This retreat offers us a door to enter more deeply
into the mystery of Holy Week by praying between the lines.
When we read Scripture, we are invited to read not only its words,
but also the silences between the lines.
When we pray over Scripture,
we also need to “pray between the lines.”
We’ve heard this story so many times before,
but every year we come still bearing questions.
What are our questions for Jesus?
Asking questions is risky business:
they may lead us somewhere else,
somewhere we don’t expect to go.
Are you ready for this conversation?
The Word of God is found
in the words of Scripture.
But we can discover it also in its silences.
When we read Scripture,
we are invited to pay attention
not only to what it says,
but also to what it doesn’t say.
In short, we need to read
(and pray) between the lines.
Creation happened when God let original goodness emerge.
How does this disposition of “letting” unfold in the Passion story?
And what response are we called to as a result of
the example that our Lord set for us?
For 2021 the retreat was conducted live through three Zoom sessions from Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday.
Poster design by Jem Gemzontan
There is something quite subversive about Lent:
Lent teaches us that God is not confined to so-called sacred spaces
On the contrary, He is found where we don’t expect Him,
where we ourselves don’t like visiting.
If we truly seek the Lord, we should not be afraid
to venture to the bruised and broken spaces of our lives.
Holy Week shows us that it is exactly what He has done.
Poster design by Jem Gemzontan