41. The Soul
As memories of the summer holidays fade and the pace of schools gears up, The Soul returns to provide respite through inspiration, prayer and spiritual communion. Support for staff through resources and suggestions to promote wellbeing will compliment the spiritual focus. Moving to a fortnightly format, The Soul will have all the familiar features of prayer, formation, Gospel reflections, music, links and resources. We look forward to journeying with staff of the Lismore Diocese again in 2021.
We approach our first edition of The Soul with the bold and daring theme Everything, which is echoed and borrowed from the newest worship song from Proclaim Lismore Wildfire:
It is awe-inspiring, if not challenging at times, to recognise that God not only dwells all around us but also deeply and truly inside of us. Our minds might marvel that the Creator of all things desires to dwell in His creation, as we become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“A human being is not defined by a politician, nor a scientist, nor an economist, nor a psychologist, nor a philosopher. A human being is defined by who God is and there can be no higher definition of what it is to be a human being than this, because I was made to be the dwelling place of the living God. That is who you are, the dwelling place of the living God.”
- Bishop Greg, Youth Ministry Officer Equipping School, 2021
The invitation for this term becomes two-fold: First to recognise Jesus in our everyday lives. At times finding Him amidst balancing the obligations of work and family life. In the stillness and drowsiness of waking up in the morning. In the face of a rambunctious student in our class. Even in the moments of vulnerability and joy found in a close relationship. Or in the pain and suffering of life.
Secondly, and perhaps more challenging, to recognize Jesus deeply inside of us; releasing our need for control and allowing Jesus to fill us with His blessing, grace, glory, joy and freedom - moving us into a place of praise and gratitude.
What would the term look and feel like if we were able to jump into the ocean of God’s love and allow it to swell deeply inside of us? If we saw Jesus in everything and allowed Jesus to become everything to us?
Ash Wednesday, marking the first day of Lent, comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. Our practice on Ash Wednesday includes the wearing of ashes on the head symbolizing the dust from which God made us. This year Bishop Greg has advised that the distribution of ashes will take on a different form, being sprinkled on the head in a return to the traditional practice from Mass around the 12th century. Lent is a time of self-examination, self-denial and deep contemplation about the mystery and grace of God's mercy as we prepare for the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ at Easter. How will you grow closer to God this Lent?
‘Everything’ is a song about returning home to God and being completely filled with God’s praise and glory from within. The song invites us to respond by encountering Jesus in our everyday lives and jumping into the freedom and never-ending love of God found in worship. Proclaim Lismore Wildfire is releasing two versions of the song on Spotify later in the week but you can experience the acoustic version by watching this lyric video.
- Take These Ashes - Lent calls us to journey inward with God, and Sarah Hart invites us into deep prayer through her procession song, written for the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday.
- Satisfy (Rivers and Robots) - We hope 2021 is filled with many moments of joy and peace. Enjoy this relaxing and modern take on Psalms 107:9 and 16:11.
- Yes & Amen (Maverick City) - In our prayer, we remind ourselves of our vocation with this powerful rendition.
- Following a difficult 2020 the National Mental Health Commission has created a new mental health initiative called “#Making Time”. This initiative encourages all Australians to make time for things that help them in difficult times. It is free of charge and the link to the resource can be found here:
- One Catholic Teacher by Jonathon Doyle - This website exists to encourage and support the thousands of 'one Catholic teachers' who wonder if their work is making a difference. A great place to start is by checking out an episode of the daily podcast.
- #pray40:Challenge - The past 12 months have been full of ups and downs with many of us facing serious and unexpected challenges. This Lent, we invite you to find peace in your relationship with God by joining the #Pray40 challenge and committing to daily prayer. To help support you, the team at Hallow have put together 40 days of Lenten meditations with length options that work for every schedule and experience level. In honor of Pope Francis proclaiming 2021 as the “Year of St. Joseph,” they have built the Hallow #Pray40 community challenge around growing in the virtues of the patron of the Universal Church, including humility, hiddenness, obedience, chastity, justice, and love of the poor. There will be a new type of prayer each day to build on the theme for the week.
All staff in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Lismore receive The Soul by email. The link in these emails can be forwarded and shared with family and friends. Alternatively, use this form to subscribe as an additional reader to The Soul mailing list.