Greetings Friends and Family:
In 2015, Pope Francis said the following in his lenten address:
“Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience. God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation.”
During Lent we like to either give up a bad habit, spend extra time in Church, or with the poor and needy – some personal sacrifice that reminds us of the gift we all have received of salvation through the suffering of Christ.
Earlier in the month we were in a city in Florida which has a considerable amount of homeless and in some areas people were laid out asleep on the streets in daylight, not half a mile from hundreds of luxury yachts. When I remember that these people are just as precious, unique and special to Jesus as any other, it comes again as a wake up call. There are so many people in this country who depend on voluntary help from churches and organizations like the Salvation Army. They receive shelter, food and fellowship, from people who give of their time, energy and resources. These helping hands are going to be even more needed in the years to come as the government walks a path away from those in need, towards those who exploit for commerce.
This month Christine has led two icon writing retreats, one at The Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota, FL and the second at Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, NY.
What extraordinary experiences these retreats have been with people spending time in deep prayer and learning, as they are skillfully led by Christine to write an Icon, for many of the participants this was their first one.
Writing an icon, it is called writing because the painted image represents the written word, is a truly appropriate spiritual discipline to undertake during lent. All those taking part went through their own inner journey as the Lord brought to mind aspects of their lives for them to pray through.
The primary icon which Christine was using for their initial work, was the face of Christ. It is wonderful to see the different variations created by the different hands and personalities of the group derived from the same original. It is a reflection of how we are all individuals before God. Each one of us is unique, to and for the Lord. Each one of us has a precious reason for being, we are a special facet of His church.
This month CIVA, Christians in the Visual Arts Serious Art, Serious Faith, published a piece written by Christine on Icons and the American Iconography. It’s worth taking a look at!
The next Icon Retreat Christine will be leading is at MorningStar Retreat Center in Miami Florida. This will be a Tritium Reteat for Holy week, with Stations of the Cross on Good Friday in the beautiful outdoor garden at Morningstar. Register now.
This Lent, let’s keep our country, the poor, and the disenfranchised in our prayers.
Father, show us the way to bless those who need your blessings, Help us to help others.
“Today if only you will hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” Psalm 95:8
We send you love, joy, and anticipation of Easter!
Christine and Michael