UIW Blog Lent is a Journey

Lent is a Journey

By Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa, professor emeritus

Lent is a journey to Holy Week.

It is a season of anticipation of the celebration of the central mystery of our faith: Christ’s death and resurrection. In some way, Lent is like the Gospels, all of which are, according to some scholars, long introductions to the core story of the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord.

So, Lent is a season of traveling along a long road. In our time, it may appear too long.

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Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa reflects on the importance of the long Lenten wait.

We go quickly from one sports season to another, from one popular celebration to another, and indeed from one news cycle to another. In the past, Lent always seemed very long to me. Nowadays it seems even longer.

Yet, we are told, the ending – Holy Week – is worth waiting for.

Jesus’s journey of his death and resurrection entailed working his way through his ministry of teaching and healing. And he began that stretch of the journey by going into the desert.

In the desert he prayed and fasted – and he waited, something we have trouble doing today.  Lent seems long precisely because for us – or at least, for me – waiting is burdensome.

Waiting in Lent is difficult, in part, because we already know the ending. But this waiting is not about twiddling our thumbs in anticipation of something to happen. This waiting is about reflection and prayer.

Lent is, of course, also about doing something: changing life habits and helping others, particularly those in need. But even that involves reflection and prayer. We cannot change our lives and our relationships with others unless we change our relationship to our true, inner self and to God.

And reflection and prayer means taking some moments away from the hustle and bustle of everyday obligations and distractions. This entails listening to the Spirit of God.

One homilist at the beginning of Lent called attention to why Jesus went into the desert. One of the gospels, he reminded us, says the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert. Another says the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. And a third says Jesus, filled with the Spirit, went into the desert.

We have received the Spirit of God at baptism and that same Spirit drives us, leads us, and inspires us to take some time each day in the desert of silence and reflection. Without time to ponder on our relationship with God, the celebration of Good Friday and Easter Sunday will surely fly right past us.

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Six Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Cardinal You Love

Breathe it in, everyone – it’s the first day of February, and love is definitely in the air! If your heart stopped for a second because you suddenly realized that means you only have 13 days left to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Take a look at some amazing gifts that are sure to show the Cardinal in your life how much you appreciate them.

  1. A UIW Pride T-shirt
    Anyone who loves a UIW student, alumni, or employee, knows that they love comfortable shirts that also show off their UIW pride!

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    This t-shirt is the perfect one to help you celebrate your love this year. A cupid-struck heart on UIW red? Count us in!

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  1. A UIW-framed portrait
    Our campus is a beautiful one, meaning there are plenty of great photo opportunities around. Ask your Valentine to pause for a photo with you! Print it out, and place it in this UIW frame for a thoughtful gift that is sure to make him/her swoon.

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    Pro Tip: Include a heartfelt letter that details why you chose this special gift, including the reason behind choosing your specific photo location and the role UIW has played in bringing you together!

 

  1. This special snuggle buddy
    Okay, we know this one is pretty cliché, but it’s also adorable.

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    Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a teddy bear. Add a bouquet of roses, a card, and perhaps dinner for two, and you’ve got date night covered!

 

  1. A UIW Wine Glass
    Picture this – dinner you made yourself, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a glass of wine in your sweetheart’s new favorite glass. Sounds like a great date to us!

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    Pro Tip: Add a personal touch by adding your own message or artwork to the other side of the wine glass. Acrylic enamel paint is best for painting on glass!

 

  1. This cozy blanket
    Spring may be near, but there are still some chilly days ahead this year. Keep your Valentine warm and cozy with this incredibly soft blanket.

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    As a bonus, you’ll get to use it for movie nights and picnics for years to come!

 

  1. Something punny
    Who doesn’t love a good pun? The possibilities are endless with this UIW tie!

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    May we recommend:

    1. Tied to you
    2. Never too tied up for you
    3. There’s no tie when it comes to you.

The best part about these gifts is that they’re all available now at the Cardinal Shoppe in the Student Engagement Center. No matter who you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with this year, remember to share the love this and every month.