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Lord Christ,
our eternal Redeemer, grant us such fellowship in your sufferings, that, filled
with your Holy Spirit, we may subdue the flesh to the spirit, and the spirit to
you, and at the last attain to the glory of your resurrection; who lives and
reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look   at this image.  This piece hangs over the altar at the Church of the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, Spain.  What do you notice first?  Now look again.  Look at the inter-play of dazzling light and deep shadow.  Now let your attention be drawn to the crucified Christ figure.  What thoughts or feelings arise?

Reflect.  Still early in Lent, yet we know that our
journey will take us to the cross, and to Jesus’ suffering.  Something we would rather avoid coming to
mind.  Yet today’s Collect forces us to
encounter such suffering, and not only encounter, but prays to the Divine One
that we somehow have fellowship, companionship, relationship with this
suffering.  Consider what this could mean
for you personally.  Think of instances
in your own world which resemble the suffering of the Crucified One.

Act.  Today is a good day to exercise fellowship in
suffering.  A more accessible concept   might be that this is an opportune time to
show compassion.  Finding someone who is
suffering requires not much of a search. 
Doing something about it is something else…it requires being fully
present to the other, at the least.  What
else can you do to help one individual today?

Thanks for
taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let
others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed

“Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Crucifix ”   /Place: La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain   /Artist: Antoni Gaudí /Photographer: Jon Shematek

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