Father’s Letter: 1st Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends,

As we begin Lent, we bear in mind that it is not merely a season full of “customs” like making sacrifices,  abstaining from meat, etc. It is supposed to be a season of repentance, conversion, stirring up contrition for our many sins and the sins of the whole world. Does this sound gloomy and depressing? Well, that’s kind of the point – unless we take account of how sorry our human condition is, how weak we are without God’s grace, and how we had nothing to hope for were it not for Christ’s saving action in our world, we will not fully appreciate the joy that Easter brings.

Below, for your reflection, is a poem entitled “Ash Wednesday” by 19th century English poet Christina Rossetti. It eloquently captures the sentiment of this penitential liturgical season:

My God, my God, have mercy on my sin,

For it is great; and if I should begin

To tell it all, the day would be too small

To tell it in.

My God, Thou wilt have mercy on my sin

For Thy Love’s sake: yea, if I should begin

To tell This all, the day would be too small

To tell it in.

Good Lord, today

I scarce find breath to say:

Scourge, but receive me.

For stripes are hard to bear, but worse

Thy intolerable curse;

So do not leave me.

Good Lord, lean down

In pity, tho’ Thou frown;

Smite, but retrieve me:

For so Thou hold me up to stand

And kiss Thy smiting hand,

It less will grieve me.

In Christ,

Fr Marotti