Lent Under the Sign of Love

19 July 2024

In this sacred season of Lent, let us draw inspiration from Ignatian spirituality to deepen our relationship with God while responding to the call of charity and justice. Saint Ignatius of Loyola has left us a legacy of discernment and contemplation—precious tools for transforming our lives and the lives of others.

This year, Ash Wednesday, the starting point of this season of reflection and action, coincides with Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to love and affection. It serves as a poignant reminder that our Lenten journey can be colored by the compassionate love we seek to manifest towards both our loved ones and refugees worldwide. Ignatian reflection invites us to look beyond ourselves, to recognize God’s presence in every human being, especially those who are marginalized and displaced. During these forty days of Lent, let us put our faith into action by supporting refugees with love, compassion, and solidarity.

Engage in a deep contemplation of the realities refugees face. Imagine ourselves in their shoes, feel their challenges, and listen attentively to their stories. Ignatian spirituality calls us to be aware of the inner movements of our soul in the face of these realities, prompting us to act with a generous heart. The daily examination of conscience becomes a powerful moral compass, guiding us towards concrete actions for refugees. What have we done to alleviate the burden of our uprooted brothers and sisters? How can we contribute to restoring their dignity and building a more just and welcoming world?

May this Lent be a time of profound transformation, where our prayers blend with concrete acts of love and solidarity towards refugees. May our commitment to aiding those in need of refuge become an authentic response to Jesus’ call: “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). Thus, our Lent will not only be a period of personal deprivation but also a collective celebration of unconditional love that transcends borders.

May each of us, inspired by Ignatian spirituality, become an instrument of peace, hope, and love for refugees, making this Lent memorable through our commitment to building a world where everyone can find a home, a community, and the dignity they deserve.