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O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look at this shrine to sailors who died in treacherous waters off the coast of Chile. What is the very first thing you see?  Now look more intently.  Notice the images of Mary and the Infant Jesus. The wildflowers.  The book.  What do you see now?

Reflect.  This is the focal point of a tiny chapel in Cape Horn, where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans collide.  A place where many sailors have lost their lives.  Consider the fragility of their boats as they struggled to stay afloat.  Can you identify a time in your life when you felt that you were submerging, needing help to stand upright, needing more strength and protection?  What was it?  From where did you draw support?

Act.   Today reach out to someone who appears to be struggling to stay afloat in some way.  Realize that you may be a life-saver, literally.  A prayer, a smile, an encouraging word, or your simple presence, may help someone get safely to the next port on their journey.

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 Lent.

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

Image:   “Capilla Stella Maris ”   /Place: Cabo Hornos (Cape Horn), Chile  /Photographer: Jon Shematek