Rejoice….Laetare Sunday

By Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
This past Sunday we reached the half way point in Lent. The word comes from the Latin laetare, the singular imperative of laetari: "to rejoice". The opening psalm or introit for the liturgy states:
Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy,
you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult and be filled from the breasts
of your consolation
Rejoice Sunday this year marks the peak of the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. Anyone who has ever had the experience of seeing these trees in full bloom knows that the instinctive response is on of joy and delight.
In considering the wisdom of the Church designating the half way point in Lent, a season of soul searching, with an imperative to be filled with joy, I thought of John O’Donohue’s poem, For Longing.
Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity, and friendship–
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.
May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.
May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.
May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.
As we enter into the second half of Lent, may we attend to this “divine urgency” that sometimes beauty reveals, and other times silence discloses.
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.