Christ our Morning Star - a term used in the Church's ancient hymn of Easter praise, the Exsultet - is the title of an evening for Lent in Edinburgh next month. It will be led by Notre Dame Sister Magdalen Lawler and will be based on her recent book of the same name. The evening will incorporate art and reflections as well as meditation songs by Fr Tom McGuinness SJ from the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow and Fr Jim Crampsey SJ, Director of the Lauriston Jesuit Centre in Edinburgh, who says that the event will "lend itself well to a quiet preparation for the coming celebration of the Resurrection".
In the introduction to her book, Sister Magdalen explains: "The Morning Star refers to a natural phenomenon when the planet Venus appears in the east before sunrise, sometimes seeming to be the very sun itself, as it rises in the sky. This image … brings hope of a new day and a new dawn. The morning star sheds a peaceful and gentle light which heralds the sun's rays. In this image we see Christ, himself, first born of the Father, who brings his peace and hope to our darkened world."
Sr Magdalen Lawler is a great admirer of the priest and painter Sieger Köder who has produced many beautiful images that show Christ as a light at the centre of our lives, dispeling fear. Her book Christ our Morning Star: The Art and Inspiration of Sieger Köder opens with one of the artist's most beautiful images of creation in which Christ is seen as the fullness of God's creation. "By his death and resurrection (Christ) acts as a model and Saviour for us all," she says. "Sieger Köder uses images of Scriptures and daily life to show that we can find God in everything - if only we have eyes to see."
Sr Magdalen has studied and taught art and art history and has been a member of the Loyola Hall Ignatian retreat team. She is the former director of a women's spirituality centre in London and now offers retreat days and accompaniment on a freelance basis, including many successful days at the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow. She will be leading a Day for Lent there on Saturday 1 March before the event at the Lauriston Jesuit Centre in Edinburgh which will take place on 4 March between 7.30pm and 9pm.
For more information about the evening for Lent, Christ Our Morning Star, led by Magdalen Lawler SND, contact the Lauriston Jesuit Centre, 28 Lauriston Street, Edinburgh EH3 9DJ - phone 0131 477 5788.