Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
We are entering the time in our Church year when we prepare our hearts and our minds to journey with Jesus through His Passion, His Death, and ultimately to the glory of His Resurrection. Jesus Himself underwent such a period of preparation before He began His earthly ministry, traveling into the desert to fast and pray, seeking connection with His Father, and engaging with His great foe, the Devil. We pattern our own time of preparation on His desert sojourn, taking the same forty days, and using His techniques of prayer and abstinence to grow closer with God, and also perhaps confront some of our own personal demons.
Our theme for this Lenten season at Carmel Mission is, “Thirsting for you, my God.” The imagery of thirst in relationship to God is most prominent in the psalms. Psalm 42 compares our desire to know God with the need of a thirsty deer for life-giving water, asking “when can I see the face of God?” (Psalm 42: 3.) As human beings, on average, our bodies are over 60% water. We can survive for weeks without food of any kind, but only 3 days without water. It is not an exaggeration to say that water is one of the most vital elements to sustaining life. In comparing our need and desire for God to thirst, the psalmist emphasizes God’s crucial life-giving power in our lives.
As we take up our Lenten journey to the cross on Calvary, and then on to the empty tomb, we begin in the desert. Our personal desert is anywhere in our lives or in our hearts that feels barren, or hopeless, or lifeless. Our demons await us there, tempting and torturing us in our moments of need. But we do not travel to the desert alone. As we acknowledge our thirst for relationship with God, we can accept His invitation to drink of the living water of His mercy and love. It is my hope for each of us that we can drink freely of this great gift, watering our desert and making it bloom.
I wish you and your loved ones Lenten blessings of good health, new hope, and a fruitful desert journey,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.