This photo of two baby lambs, named Olive and Oyl, was posted at WeatherUnderground.com. They capture my heart and imagination at the beginning of this Lenten season. Enroute to church each Sunday, I pass a farm where folds of new-born lambs and goats
scamper. They remind me often of the several references in Scripture where the
Lamb of God is central to the meaning of redemption, of Lent, and of the resurrection.
March emerges on the valley scene and how quickly the last vestiges of winter are giving
way to the welcome colors of spring! Daffodils and tulips were up early this year bringing fears that a heavy frost would
nip them in the bud. The first butter yellow crocus appeared at my doorstep on
February 14. Elsewhere in my walks around the village I have discovered all kinds of resurrected life... forsythia already
in bloom, tiny blossoms of mystery wildflowers to investigate, and budding perennials.
A tiny wedge of ground cover on my front walk magically appeared in effervescent
emerald green. Small wonder that reminders of St Patrick’s birthday and
Irish green blesses our quadrant of the world in March. Pausing to ponder, I
discover again “every common bush afire with God.”
God has made Christ and you for each other. He made the gospel of Christ to suit your very need. Do not
hesitate. Get hold of Jesus by any point you can.
If it is the teaching of Jesus that appeals to you, get hold of Him by that.
If it is His grace and winsomeness or valor, get hold of Him by that. If
it is His tenderness, get hold of Him by that. If it is the amazing death He
died, get hold of Him by that. It does not matter where you grasp Him for a beginning,
so long as you do get hold of Him. You are meant for each other, you and Jesus. Give Him your love and loyalty now: and
those whom God thus joins together – your soul and Jesus – nothing, not death itself when death comes to you one
day, shall ever put asunder. James S. Stewart, in a sermon, Holy Alliances.
"If we present a man with a concept of man
that is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle
of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism
to which modern man is, in any case, prone. I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration
camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product
of heredity and environment--or, as the Nazi liked to say, of 'Blood and Soil.' I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers
of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the
desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers." Viktor
Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy
Prayer of St. Patrick
I arise today Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Swiftness of wind,
Depth of the sea, Stability of earth, Firmness of rock.
I arise today Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's hand to guard me.
Afar and near, Alone or in a multitude.
Christ shield me today Against wounding:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ
beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in me!
I arise today Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of Creation.
Allihies, County Cork, Ireland