Lessons in the Desert – Oasis of Grace
Refreshment awaits the weary – Laetare!
Yesterday was Laetare Sunday, roughly marking the halfway point of Lent. Laetare meaning, Rejoice!
After all the dry desert images so far, this one gives us cause to Rejoice! Raise your hands if you want to jump under this private little waterfall!
One of the lessons learned, hopefully so far, is that if we work at quieting our hearts and minds from busyness and worldly noise, and then orienting ourselves towards God, we can find an intimate oasis of Grace that is waiting to refresh us. Often the moments of Grace come upon us as an unexpected surprise during periods of dryness in the spiritual life.
Even though getting to the waterfall will take a bit of work, after a hot and dry journey, it will be worth the effort for the water’s restorative properties.
Just like working to reach this intimate waterfall, God’s grace comes after we strip off excess baggage that we have been carrying. Whether we remove ourselves from a bad social circle, unethical work, or for Catholics, free ourselves of personal sins through Confession, we will be showered (sometimes seemingly out of no where) with healing water if only we make that effort to reach out to God.
So, Rejoice, Jerusalem! “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.” [Jn 7:37]
For this week’s visualization, make another effort to remove any extra, heavy, dingy baggage we still might be holding on to and then next time we take a shower, imagine standing under this waterfall on a hot day. Then take it another step and imagine the waterfall as though it was Christ pouring out His mercy and forgiveness on a broken sinner. Feel His cleansing and healing Grace reach deep into our soul through the refreshing water on our body, giving new strength for continuing our Lenten desert journey.
“See, a king will reign justly and princes will rule rightly…
They will be like streams of water in a dry country,
like the shade of a great rock in a parched land.”