Preparing for Easter, preparing for the rest of my life

A couple of weeks ago I discovered a YouTube video which puts together black & white cartoon-style drawings of Jesus going into the desert for 40 days to prepare for his mission by British artist Si Smith, and the song "How He Loves" by John Mark McMillan in an excellent cover version by Eddie Kirkland (it's been covered by numerous artists in the last few years, most notably by David Crowder Band).

I've played it to all my RE classes who have responded positively, some asking to see it again in subsequent lessons. The combination of visuals and music in particular during the last minute of the video is especially powerful. You get a real sense of Jesus in his weakened physical state being more susceptible to experience (but not giving in to) temptation, expressed rather interestingly through the Devil as a mirror image form of Jesus himself, but in red. There's also some nice foreshadowing of events in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Passion story itself.

We all need time and space to think, to pray, to take stock of past events, to discern God's will for us, but also to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to face the questions and temptations that can gnaw away inside of us and through prayer and the awareness of God's unwavering love for us find the strength to respond to them.

I am fortunate as a Brother to be able to go on retreat at least once a year. This year I will be going to a monastery in France for Holy Week, not just as a preparation for the celebration of Easter itself, but as a way of building up my "spiritual fitness" and enabling me to better face the challenges that my life entails, following the calling that God has offered me as a De La Mennais Brother.

During this Lent, try and make some time for yourself and your relationship with God. Let him love you, let him help you and let him guide you.
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