DR MICHAEL SLATTERY: Lenten and Easter reflection

During Lent we are encouraged to spend some time looking into our own lives to see the ‘direction’ our lives are taking and whether that direction is toward other people and not just towards ourselves.

The Annual Lenten Appeal of the Australian Catholic Relief is called ‘Project Compassion’. Compassion means a strong feeling of understanding or sympathy for the feelings of another. In a contemporary world which is counter cultural to the Gospel values, we encounter much injustice and suffering. Often people are besotted with aspirations of power, authority and money making as their key motivational values. This leads to evil behaviour, mistrust and conflict. Hopefully as Lent progresses we will be able to lead our children to a better understanding of compassion and how they can exercise this virtue in their own lives.

“Lord, you know us all,

You know those who are oppressed by injustice.

And you know those who become even richer and more powerful at the expense of others.

All are your children. All need your love so that we, in turn,

May love. Rouse us, stir our hearts to love”.

The first part of the year has gone so quickly and soon it will soon be Palm Sunday and the commencement of Holy Week. The events of Holy Week can be a great source of comfort and encouragement, particularly if life for us is not quite going the way we would like it to go, for in a way it mirrors the way in which Christ’s life was going.

One of the most impressive ceremonies of the Easter Liturgy must surely be the entry of the New Light into the Church at the Easter Vigil ceremony. The meaning of the symbolism is immediate; here is “Christ the light of the world” making the way clear for us, present and purposeful in our lives.

I hope that all families within the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese celebrate Christ’s glorified new life and wait with optimism for the coming of the spirit. I hope it is uplifting, full of direction and purposeful in our lives. The Easter message is hoped filled as each person becomes optimistic in their outlook, just as the first apostles became the new Christ’s for the world. May the Easter period be like this for all school staff, students and parents.

Dr Michael Slattery Image
Dr Michael Slattery

Dr Michael Slattery is the Director of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.