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Message from the President

A LENTEN EXERCISE

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 Photo credit: N. Osora

Lent gives us an opportunity to renew our faith, refocusing on what we most deeply desire and long for.

We place our lives again before God.

We renew our quest to be true to God, true to ourselves and true to those we serve.

Janet Morley has a poem for each day of Lent and Easter in “The Hearts Time” (SPCK 2017). Her first week includes St Augustine’s love -song prayer to the divine. 

Augustine, adult convert, writes realising the barriers he had once erected; the way he had embraced the things of God’s creation but missed, somehow, the divine presence. 

As Janet Morley says, the last five lines speak of God’s action in response. The result being in Augustine, as in us, an even stronger yearning for God- for “the peace of God which passes all understanding”.

AUGUSTINE’S PRAYER:

“Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new,

late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,

but I outside ,seeking there for you,

and upon the shapely things you have made I rushed headlong,

I, misshapen.

You were with me, but I was not with you.

They held me back far from you,

those things which would have no being

were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;

you flared ,blazed, banished my blindness;

you lavished your fragrance, I gasped , and now I pant for you;

I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;

you touched me , and I burned for your peace.”( St Augustine,4th Century).

 

Janet Morley suggests we each try writing our own “love letter “to God. This could be something we do as individuals but also as a small group in a congregation.

What would you want to say? What would you want to ask?

Perhaps these might be letters we then re-read together come Easter Day, noting and sharing our awareness of our God’s loving action in response.

Every blessing as Lent soon begins and then draws us to Easter,

 

Bishop Philip Huggins

President, National Council of Churches in Australia