Have you ever looked back on periods of struggle in your life and thought, "That turned out to be a time of growth for me"? Or perhaps found that times when you felt abandoned by God were times that God drew especially close -- just from a different direction or in a different way than you had experienced before?
If you have had an experience like this, you already understand that there are gifts that come to us in the hard times, in the midst of the struggles of life. Spiritual leaders have called this kind of experience by different names. St John of the Cross called it "the dark night of the soul." The Desert Fathers and Mothers described it as time "in the wilderness." Saint Teresa of Avila called it "the fifth mansion." They all understood that it is in these times of hardship that we often receive strange and wondrous gifts. It is often in hard or dark places that we meet God.
Our Journey this Lent will explore "Gifts of the Dark Wood." Come along and find some new and precious gifts yourself!
Ash Wednesday: "Where We Find Ourselves" March 10: "The Gift of Uncertainty" March 17: The Gift of Emptiness March 24: The Gift of Being Thunderstruck March 31: The Gift of Getting Lost April 7: The Gift of Temptation April 14: The Gift of Misfits (Palm-Passion Sunday) April 21: Where We Go From Here (EASTER)