Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, and Friends,
In the weeks before Ash Wednesday, a group of Edmundites, faculty, staff and students considered the readings of the Sundays of Lent and extracted the statement which appears on banners hanging outside on our campus Chapel above the main lobby entrance and facing route 15. This Lent our focus statement is "Open Our Eyes To Your Gift." We have also planned a number of devotional activities outlined on our web page and we have again made available a daily blog containing reflections on the scripture readings from the liturgies in Lent and Holy Week accessible at http://smclent.blogspot.com/.
It is easy to sometimes lose sight of the gifts God has given us. We get busy, practical concerns distract us, responsibilities at work or in the household can tend to overwhelm us, life can become very busy resulting in forgetting to acknowledge God's gifts. When we lose sight of the gift or gifts of God in our lives, then we begin to stop being thankful to God. And when we stop being grateful, we then may begin to think of ourselves as being entitled; thinking we are owed something by God or others. Gratitude is a hidden foundation of the spiritual life.
Being thankful is a disposition of the human heart. It is recognition first and foremost that one has been gifted. And when we look at our lives, we see with grateful hearts all the good gifts God has bestowed on us. St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote to one of his Jesuit companions: the root of all sin is ingratitude. When we fail to see the gifts of God in our midst, we begin to reach for things which are beyond us and fall into sinful behavior. The fundamental disposition of Ignatius is that all is gift, everything is gift. God is the author of life, life is a gift. All that we have and all that we are is pure gift. God's grace, God's presence, is all encompassing, sustaining us in our daily lives.
One of the gifts I am grateful for is the ordination of Brother Michael Carter, S.S.E. as a Deacon this past February. In September he will be ordained to the Priesthood. We should never take for granted the people God places in our lives. I am grateful that God has called Brother Michael to minister in the vineyard to God's people as an Edmundite. He joins me and several other Edmundites on these holy grounds to preach God's healing message of mercy and forgiveness. In Jesus' words and deeds we learn that no sin is unforgivable and that the mercy of God is always available to us as long as we turn to God. Lent is a time of such conversion, a preparation for the joyous experience of the resurrection at Easter.
I hope you will join us in prayer this Lenten season as we prepare for the glorious celebration of Easter.
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E. ’86
Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry