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Reflection for Ash Wednesday

Time and time again our elders show us how to live. A resident in hospice care in one of our Benedictine community’s was eagerly sharing with an associate what she had just learned watching a documentary about Martin Luther King, Jr. That was a Sunday. Early in the morning of that following Thursday, she took her last breath. Engaged in the world until she left it, this woman gives testimony to the beautiful fact that we can be life-long learners.

A gentleman in one of our partner communities lived to 99 years, and never lost his sense of amazement of life. He inspired many, including one associate who remembered him as one who “always seemed alive to the opportunities around him, living life each day to the full, while also looking forward to tomorrow.”

The season of Lent is upon us. It is a time that invites us to look deeply into our lives and ask “How am I being called to live more fully and more freely?” In essence, how can we grow old in such a way that we only deepen our sense of wonder at life, that we maintain a sense of purpose?

Many of our elders stand as witnesses to the truth that God is never done loving us and never done leading us into deeper union and meaning.

Happy Lent!
Jim Smith, Benedictine Director, Mission Integration