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This year’s Lenten Day of Reflection at the parish began with time for individual prayer on John 8:1-11. The Gospel passage is an instance of a text in which a crowd is present, as is the case on Palm Sunday, too. Through Ignatian Contemplation, parishioners were invited to place themselves into the story and consider, for instance, how they might have acted or what they may have said.

After individual prayer, small groups were formed to share the fruits of this prayer time with one another. This sharing was guided by reflection questions that invited each person to name his or her own inner Pharisee, recognizing when and with whom one is most likely to judge others harshly. Finally, there was an invitation to reflect on the “saints of forgiveness” in each person’s life, the people who serve as models of how to forgive.

Parishioners then reconvened in the Fellowship Room for a brief presentation that included images used by Marina McCoy in her book The Ignatian Guide to Forgiveness: 10 Steps to Healing. A series of Holy Week paintings where also used to encourage reflection upon, and recognition of, the various messages found within just a single piece of art. Often the very same piece of art can give multiple, sometimes seemingly conflicting messages to its viewers.