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Light of Prayer in the Late Afternoon

By: John Dacey on March 24th, 2022

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Light of Prayer in the Late Afternoon

Celebrating family life  |  Seasonal Reflections

I remember as a child during Lent, my mother and I would walk to weekday Mass in the late afternoon. It was about a fifteen-minute walk. The sun would be setting, and the church’s west-facing stained glass windows would cast long streams of color across the floor and benches. On the way home, it would be dusk, and the fading light of late day would gradually give way to darkness.

I can’t recall how many times we went to church during Lent or what we talked about while we walked. I know she taught me much about the light of faith by her quiet witness and her companionship.

LightOfPrayerDuring Lent, we walk together in the light that penetrates the darkness.

Our parish church had relief sculpture Stations of the Cross installed along the aisle walls between the windows. I probably understood as much as an eight-year-old can about Jesus and His way of the Cross.

“He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed.” (Isaiah 53:5b)

The Stations invite the believer to prayerfully walk along with the Lord as He endures the Cross – for our sake.

“Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured.” (Isaiah 53:4a)

I think our Lenten practices are not only prayerful remembrances of God’s saving action in the past but also the present. Prayer raises our awareness of humanity’s suffering in our present time. The human drama of today is, in a way, linked to the loving sacrifice of Jesus. We are called by His “Cross and Resurrection” to respond in love, as we can, to heal human suffering, promote peace, seek reconciliation, and restore human community.

In every life situation, the Lord calls us to love – raising our families, forgiving those who have hurt us, contributing to the common good, working for justice in the world.

Our children learn the light of faith by seeing what we do.

At the foot of the Cross, we are witnesses to God’s love and His mercy. The light of faith overcomes the darkness in our world; we live in hope in the redemptive love of the Risen Lord.

Let us pray in our families this Lent for the grace that empowers us to give witness to the light of God’s loving mercy.

About John Dacey

John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.