Water in the Desert

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A Lenten Reflection by Fr. Dave Foxen, MSC

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Water in the Desert

  1. 1. Water in the Desert<br />A Lenten Reflection by Fr. Dave Foxen, MSC<br />The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart  USA Province<br />305 S. Lake Street, PO Box 270  Aurora, IL 60507 (630) 892-2371  info@misacor-usa.org<br />
  2. 2. In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers. <br />Isaiah 43, 18<br />
  3. 3.
  4. 4. You cannot walk through the <br />desert and not think of water! <br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Perhaps the absence of pools,<br />rivers, and lakes makes us even<br />more aware of the meaning of<br />water in a land that appears hostile<br />to the thought of moisture. <br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Water becomes a symbol of God’s<br />compassion and love which seem<br />so absent in our world’s distorted<br />values and apparent lack of caring<br />for one another. <br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. But in the desert,<br />as in our lives,<br />the signs of<br />water, of God’s<br />love, are everywhere <br />for the one who sees. <br />
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Over thousands of years, water,<br />even in small amounts, has formed<br />the contours of the land, worn<br />down granite, created canyons and<br />washes. <br />
  13. 13.
  14. 14. Washes are fascinating, for they<br />are dry and filled with sand and<br />boulders. But the carved banks and<br />the piled boulders tell of rushing<br />torrents of flash floods or long dry<br />rivers. <br />
  15. 15. The plants of the<br />desert have learned<br />to treat water as the <br />precious source of<br />life. No drop of<br />moisture is wasted. <br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Some plants drop leaves <br />to conserve water. <br />Are there any habits we need to drop in<br />order to be able to accept the life-giving<br />water of God's love in the desert of our<br />lives? <br />
  18. 18. Along earthquake<br />fault lines water<br />sometimes seeps to<br />the surface, forming<br />the lush abundance<br />of an oasis.<br />
  19. 19.
  20. 20. In the desert you cannot think in<br />terms of the present moment or<br />even a limited number of years. <br />
  21. 21. Life in the desert moves slowly, <br />
  22. 22. the land and the plants are patient,<br />seeds sometimes wait many years<br />for the opportunity to be moistened<br />and experience renewed life. <br />
  23. 23.
  24. 24. What once was may never come again. <br />Where there is now only sand and rock may one day produce life. <br />
  25. 25. The desert waits and does not<br />measure itself in terms of what it<br />produces or does not produce. <br />How do we measure ourselves? Others?<br />
  26. 26. The desert<br />is open to<br />what may<br />be or what<br />may never<br />be. <br />
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
  29. 29. We are amazed at how water in the desert is like God’s compassion and love! <br />
  30. 30. God’s love is patient, slowly and <br />surprisingly bringing forth new life<br />from forgotten seeds,<br />
  31. 31. appearing in the wrenching traumas of our lives, sometimes seeming to recede and hide but patiently forming and contouring the landscape of the human heart. <br />
  32. 32.
  33. 33. Our Lenten journey is a desert journey seeking out the life-giving water flowing in torrents and trickling  from the baptismal font. <br />
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Photo Credits<br />Slide #1: The Killpecker Sand Dunes of the Red Desert, by the Bureau of Land Management. Photo is in the public domain. (link)<br />Slide #2: Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by Pravit. (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (link) <br />Slide #3: Sand and Desert in Death Valley, by John Sullivan (link)<br />Slide #4: Beach Sand Background by Andrew Schmidt (used for several slides as part of the background) (link)<br />Slide #5: Ripples on Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, from the website of the National Park Service (link)<br />Slide #7: Desert dunes by Wikigab (link)<br />Slide #9: Golden Canyon, from the website of the National Park Service (link)<br />
  36. 36. Photo Credits<br />Slide #10: Bisnaga by Teodoro S Gruhl (link)<br />Slide #11: Bisnaga by Teodoro S Gruhl (link); Colorful Cactus by Vera Kratochvil (link); Desert Blooms by Andrew Schmidt (link); Prickly pear cactus, from the website of the National Park Service (link)<br />Slide #13: Painted desert Arizona by Joyradst (link)<br />Slide #15: Prickly pear cactus, from the website of the National Park Service (link)<br />Slide #16: Colorful Cactuses by Vera Kratochvil (link)<br />Slide #17: Single Water Drop by PetrKratochvil (link)<br />Slide #18: Desert landscape with saguaro cactii (Carnegieagigantea) in Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona by BLM photo (link)<br />Slide #19: Desert palm at an oasis on the San Andreas Fault, McCallum Pond, by Fr. David Foxen, MSC<br />Slide #20: Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang Uyghur AutonomousRegion by Pravit. (link)<br />
  37. 37. Photo Credits<br />Slide #21: Desert of Akakus, by Jean-Pierre MALAVIALLE (Desert of Akakus) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons (link)<br />Slide #23: Borrego Palm Canyon, a stream flowing down the canyon in Anza Borrego State Park, by Fr. David Foxen, MSC<br />Slide #24: Windmill, by Fr. David Foxen, MSC<br />Slide #26: Slide #7: Desert dunes by Wikigab (link)<br />Slide #27: The Namib Desert at Sossusvlei by TeoGómez (link) <br />Slide #28: Dune scenic, from the website of the National Park Service (link)<br />Slide #29: The Killpecker Sand Dunes of the Red Desert, by the Bureau of Land Management. Photo is in the public domain. (link)<br />Slide #30: Bisnaga by Teodoro S Gruhl (link)<br />Slide #31: Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, from the website of the National Park Service (link); Painted Desert Badlands, Photographed by Doug Dolde at the Petrified Forest National Park in April, 2009 (link)<br />
  38. 38. Photo Credits<br />Slide #32: Storm over the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park, By National Park Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (link)<br />Slide #33: Desert – Inner Mongolia (w:User:pfctdayelise) (Image taken by me using Casio QV-R41) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons; Edited by Fir0002 (link)<br />Slide #34: late afternoon on Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, from the website of the National Park Service (link)<br />

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