Recognizing our thirst for God is how we anchor our spiritual lives.
Meditations this year have been entrusted by the Pope to Portuguese priest and Biblical theologian, Father José Tolentino de Mendonça, vice-rector of the Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon, who is leading the meditations on the theme: “Praise of Thirst.”
The theme, on the other hand, for Monday afternoon’s reflection was: “I became aware that I was thirsty.”
Focusing on becoming aware of the thirst within, he said: “Connecting with one’s own thirst is not easy work, but if we do not do it, the spiritual life loses its grip on reality.”
Recognizing our thirst, he underlined, is how we anchor our spiritual lives in the concrete reality of who we are.
Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18, 2018, Pope Francis departed the Vatican to participate in his annual Lenten Spiritual Exercises at Casa ‘Gesù Divin Maestro’ (the Divine Master House) in the town of Ariccia near Rome. For a week, the Holy Father will remain there praying with members of the Roman Curia. The retreat will conclude on the morning of Friday, Feb. 23. Until then, all of the Pope’s activities, including the weekly General Audience, Feb. 21, are suspended.
Originally, the Spiritual Exercises took place in the Vatican, but Pope Francis moved them to the retreat house, 16 miles outside of Rome.