The Spirituality of St. Maron and Great Lent
By Natalie Salameh
On February 16-17, 2014, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light hosted and facilitated an overnight retreat at the Mother of Light Convent for the young women of the Boston, Brockton and Lawrence parishes.
The focus of the retreat was on the life, spirituality and asceticism of St. Maron, founder of the Maronite Church, and the approaching season of Great Lent.
The retreatants were able to experience the healing power of forgiveness through the Mystery of Penance, followed by Divine Liturgy, offered by Fr. Nichols. Mother Marla Marie gave a presentation on the life and spirituality of St. Maron. As Maronites we have a lasting legacy and heritage of prayer and sacrifice given to us by our father founder, St. Maron. A life of love of God, prayer, and asceticism were the hallmarks of St. Maron's spirituality.
Using the example of St. Maron, the young ladies were guided and encouraged by Mother Marla Marie to think about the upcoming season of Great Lent and how we can make the most of it to deepen our relationship with Christ. St. Maron, because of his love for Christ and his desire to follow Him, went to the extreme limits of self-denial.
Jesus' love for us has no limits, and He held nothing back from us. His mission was one of sacrifice and prayer, as He obeyed His Father "unto death, death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8).
Mother Marla Marie encouraged and guided the young ladies to ask themselves: "What am I really attached to, which part of my life isn't receiving the light of Christ?, in which area do I need to grow as a Christian?". With plenty of food for thought, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the retreatants came up with their Lenten resolutions.