February 14, 2016 -A View from the Rectory Window

You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins (Mi 7:19).

The 2013 Film All Is Lost is about a solitary man on a sailing yacht who gets stranded at sea after a  shipwreck.  His plight prompts him to reflect on his life in a letter”:

I’m sorry.  I know that means little at this point, but I am.  I tried.  I think you would all agree that I tried.  To be true.  To be  . . . strong.  To be kind.  To love.  To be right.  But I wasn’t.  And I am sorry.

Two different, massive container ships cross his path.  The man lights a flare, frantically waving his arms to attract attention.  But the ships sail past.

All is lost here except for soul and body.  It’s inexcusable really.  I know that now.  How could it have taken this long to admit that I’m not sure, but it did.  I fought to the end.

One night he hears another ship approach.  Desperate, he lights a fire in his lifeboat.  It turns into a flaming deathtrap.  As the man sinks into the deep, he sees above him an eerie ring of fire . . . and then – all of a sudden – a hand thrust into the water reaching out for him.

Maybe we need to be spiritually shipwrecked.  Maybe we need to reflect on our life and to confess our sins.  To say I’m sorry.  Maybe only the experience of sinking darkness will make us look up and see the flickering of the Paschal fire and the miraculous hand reaching out to us from the tomb.  (Taken from The Magnificat Lenten Companion, Father John Peter Cameron, OP)

As in the film All is Lost, we set out this Lent into the solitary experience of the desert (although never truly solitary for those who acknowledge Jesus’ presence).  It is a sacred pilgrimage wherein we are being asked to leave behind the comforts of our familiar world in order to know the loving hand of Our Lord being extended to us.

This great pilgrimage of faith has ancient roots.  For forty days, Noah and his ark drifted upon the flood waters that purged the earth of sin.  For forty days, Moses conversed with God alone.  For forty days, the people of Nineveh expressed their sorrow through prayer and self-denial.  For forty days Jesus confronted in the desert, those temptations that assault humanity.

My prayer for our parish family is that when the Easter fire is lit, we will experience more fully the outstretched hand of the Resurrected Lord.

Fr. Pete