In Italian, Lent is quaresima or forty (days).
In German, it is Fastenzeit or time for bodily restraint.
Our English word comes from an older Anglo-Saxon word for spring—len(c)ten— whence our Lent.
Italian tells us how long it will last (with its symbolic overtones).
German tells us what to do in that time.
But English tells us what is supposed to happen, that is, we are supposed to experience a springtime of faith, a time growth and new life.
God of new life, bless us on our pilgrim way towards the great feast of Easter. Help us to know our need of your presence, breath your Spirit into our reading of the Word, teach us to set aside whatever hinders our true discipleship so that we may come to life in abundance and know in our hearts the joy of the Gospel. Amen
POINTERS FOR PRAYER
1. While faith is not only about consolation, the sense that “all will be well” is surely a core conviction of whoever believes in God. When have I needed this reassurance in my own life? When have I felt truly in the hands of God, “in whom we live and move and have our being”?
2. In these days of greater awareness of the essential connectedness of all things, it may help to notice that the covenant God makes is with all of creation, including ourselves. When have I become aware of being part of God’s great project? How do I live that responsibility?
3. The rainbow is beautiful and, no matter how often we see one, it still brings a sense of wonder and awe. Almost always, we stop to look, even briefly. For people with sight, colour is a huge part of the delight we have in creation, the sky, the land and the oceans. Is there some particular memory of a moment when sheer magnificence of created reality brought me into God’s presence?
God of steadfastness and hope, may we know in our lives your abiding reassurance that, no matter what happens, you are with us; may we hear you in the small still voice within and not be shaken by the storms of life. As we gaze upon the rainbow, may it remind us of your covenant with Noah and with us all— a guarantee that the forces of destruction will not prevail. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. www.tarsus.ie 4
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