Lenten Recollection: Lent is a Season of Love

“Have a listening heart- a heart like a sponge, absorbing the word of God” was the invocation of Sr Fatima during the recent Lenten Recollection held on 10 March at Nativity Conference Hall. Her message was lucid that Lent is a season of Love, Love , Love- Jesus asking us “Do you love me?”

St. Augustine was pierced by the word of God and he illustrated it as an emblem representing God’s word piercing his heart for continued faith, hope and love.

Sr. Fatima reiterated that the Word of God is active and alive and has power of calling us to build a relationship with Christ. God spared Issac but He did not spare his own son. Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus is the image of the invisible God calling us. Lent is not about giving up but about how we respond to his love.

It is a journey into our interior life- a wake up call to spiritual life. A call to love God and one another deeply. All He needs is for weak people to say “yes” to Him.

Lent is also a call to repentance- to be converted. The signs of the change in colour in the church – purple and the absence of Alleluia reminds us that we need to change. We need to cleanse our hearts to be a new creation. Genuine repentance requires love.

Peter had denied Jesus three times. When Jesus met Peter again, he asked Peter  three times (Jn 21: 15-18); “Do you love me?” Here, Peter needed the affirmation built on a relationship and not a doctrine. Jesus entrusted Peter with a mission.

Today – Jesus is asking each one of us: Do you love me?

It is easy to say I love you but to say I forgive- requires a change of heart and reconciliation. Sometimes we tend to hold grudges and hurts.  

The question changed Sr Fatima’s life:

Do you love me?

She had been with the Little Sisters of the Poor for 30 years when she heard a voice saying “can you help me?  I am suffering”. It was a call within a call. She heard the same voice every time at prayer. It took her 2 years to say “Yes”. On the Second year she heard a voice asking:  

“Do you love me?”

That question changed her life entirely and hence Samaritan Hope was born. She left the Sisters of the Poor and started Samaritan Hope. It took 6 years to build it. It was a street mission and she saw the ‘disfigured face of Jesus in everyone of them.” It is not social work but it is God’s work”.

During her visit to NBVM, Sr Fatima carried out her Street Mission on the streets of Butterworth with Fr. Dom and the NBVM volunteers. (SR)

For more information on Samritan Hope Home, kindly click on the following link:https://samaritan-hope.org/