Discerning action, new adventure in Lent and religious life

By Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA on Thursday, April 11th 2019


Lent: 'making space for the new adventures God is inviting us to.'


Image courtesy of pixabay.com

In every action and adventure movie I’ve seen, the main character finds themselves in a seemingly impossible situation. All protagonists, like Wonder Woman, face choices that will impact life in ways not yet imagined, result in consequences that bring blessings and challenges. Each decision impacts experiences to come.  

Discernment can feel like you’re living in such a film. New challenges arise, cause confusion, overwhelm and sometimes make your next move feel impossible. Potential movement for discerners of religious life can be literal: am I open to exploring a community far from home, away from my family and friends? How does one not get stymied in indecision and find a way to move through the experience?  

There is wisdom offered for all who reflect and pray with the readings from the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Isaiah reminds us of the point of peril that the Israelites faced as they fled Egypt, the charioteers hot on their heels and water looming in front of them. The scene was bleak but God acted, parting the water. The Israelites escaped and the army met their watery grave. Who would have seen that coming … water transformed into dry land just long enough for the escape? When it is least expected, God often provides a new route on the horizon. 

The Gospel from John also carries the theme of life on the brink of disaster. The Pharisees posed a double threat — attempting to trick Jesus into misinterpreting a law and endangering a woman’s life (in death by stoning) in the process. Neither ploy works. Jesus stops the advancement of the Pharisees and the woman is spared. Just when all seems lost, a saving grace arises. 

Sometimes what looks like the end is actually the first step of a new beginning, but it takes commitment to prayer and reflection to discern what is happening. It means asking the hard questions: to where am I being called, led, invited? It may also require adjusting your perception of a situation. There will be times of heartache and pain; when one moment ends to give space for a new time to arise. The Israelites had to leave Egypt, the woman had to choose to move beyond her former choices. The new way forward will bring change and challenges along with new blessings.  

Lent is a season in which we are invited to deepen our commitment to God, to see the parts of our lives that need to change and make space for the new adventures God is inviting us to. Letting go can be a way of letting God in.  

What adventure God is offering for you to consider?

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for new videos in the FSPA discernment series!

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