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'New View, New Life'

Ash Wednesday

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people...

- Joel 2:15-16

On a late morning in May, the boys and I set out on a walk from the Tuscan hill town in which we were staying. Our path was an ancient vie cave cut by the Etruscans. It was not an easy walk. We descended and ascended steep walkways. The paths have been worn so deep that high walls of stone rise on either side in the eerie quiet. Tired and thirsty, we wondered which way to go at the crossings. It started to rain.

But at the end, there we were--atop the opposite hill, with a stunning perspective of the tumbling stone village, a sight revealed only by the journey.

And I thought, how could we doubt we would arrive? Together, with other travelers, past, present and future, we know this is a way, not just to a new point of view, but to the reality of new life.

Jesus, strengthen me with hope and faith as I begin this Lenten journey.

- Amy Welborn
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Thank you, Jack, for reminding us that the purpose of our Lenten journey is to fortify our relationship with Our Father.
Eva | Posted on: 2017-03-01 11:23:25
Here's today's reflection from Creighton U:

It’s Ash Wednesday, and the question of the day is, “What are you giving up for Lent?”
This season is a time for sacrifice, but also for reconciliation, and for a greater awareness of our relationship to God. It is a time to return to God, to acknowledge our shortcomings and atone. “Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Lent is a time set aside for repentance, but really, any time is the proper time to repent our sins and seek forgiveness.
The first reading encourages us to come to God for forgiveness, and if we are repentant, he will be merciful. We should turn away from anything that has kept us from God and turn to him in his mercy. We should seek to be better – to be our best selves – and to ask for God in his compassion to help us accomplish that.
Even giving up Starbucks or candy can help us with compassion, and the compassionate thing to do would be to donate the money we would have spent on coffee or chocolate to help someone who has no food or no clean water to drink. Denying ourselves can help us feel solidarity.
Because Lent is not just about giving something up, it’s about getting something, about being better. It’s about recognizing what has kept us down and wanting to be better people. In the Gospel, Jesus does not discourage us from sacrifice, from fasting, from almsgiving, but he discourages us from making a show of it. He says our repentance needs to be from our hearts, and God can see into our hearts. The good works we do should be for the good, not to show off. Are we providing alms to help others because it’s the right thing to do, or so others can see how good and generous we are? The point is to do the right thing, not to show off our generosity.  Our sacrifices can be private, and God will know what’s in our hearts. And our rewards will be bigger than notoriety.
Maybe the question of the day should not be “What are you giving up?” but rather what are we getting in return.

Jack | Posted on: 2017-03-01 09:50:20
May all in the Living Faith community and Catholics and others in Mainline Protestant denominations have a holy and fulfilling Lent!
Jack | Posted on: 2017-03-01 09:39:15
Amen! :)
freeter | Posted on: 2017-03-01 08:34:52
Thank you Amy for this encouraging devotion. And prayers for all the LF family as we walk this lenten journey together. Sandy
KS | Posted on: 2017-03-01 07:01:27
Prayers for all of us in the LF Family for a great Lent.
annie | Posted on:: 2017-03-01 08:33:06
Amen! Thank you Lord for giving me this day and for today's Gospel. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father most of all for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconcilliation. Please Lord have mercy. Please Lord give me the strength to keep my Lenten vow. This I ask in my Lord Jesus Christ's name. Amen
A Sinner | Posted on: 2017-03-01 06:57:46
What a wonderful way to start the Lenten season; with joy! "Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast..." We know that our Lenten journey will be reflective as we journey with Christ to His Passion. But as we walk beside Him, we will soon reach our destination at the cross. Our sins will be forgiven and we can start a new life with Jesus in Heaven.

Amy's reflection is so poignant. "...we know this is a way, not just to a new point of view, but to the reality of a new life." How beautiful!
Linda | Posted on: 2017-03-01 06:52:50
Amen. Pray the rosary every day. God bless the LF family as we journey together in this Lenten season.
EM | Posted on: 2017-03-01 06:50:12
JW | Posted on:: 2017-03-01 09:08:32
Bonnie | Posted on:: 2017-03-01 16:36:27
Thank you Amy for a beautiful reflection to start our Lenten journey. It may be a struggle at times but hopefully by the end, it will be worth the time and effort we put forth. God bless!
JAS | Posted on: 2017-03-01 06:20:18
Thank you for our daily devotion, Amy.
Jesus, strengthen me with hope and faith as I begin this Lenten journey.
May God bless us all today.
MG | Posted on: 2017-03-01 05:58:18
What a beautiful time of year this solemn Lenten period is.

Lord, I lay all that I am before you, so that I may be all that you want me to be throughout and at the end f this journey.

JS | Posted on:: 2017-03-01 06:53:07
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