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Be gracious to your people, we entreat you, O Lord, that they, repenting day by day of the things that displease you, may be more and more filled with love of you and of your commandments; and, being supported by your grace in this life, may come to the full enjoyment of eternal life in your everlasting kingdom; 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 image.  What do you notice first?  Now look again.  What details capture your interest?  The stonework of the arch?  The irregular stairs, partially covered with greenery?  What do you wonder, as you enter into this space?

Reflect.  The Collect reminds us that our work in this world of repentance and reconciliation is every day, day by day.  The good news is that this is a process, with steps.  Imagine what is waiting for you at the top of this staircase.  Then consider how you can move, one step at a time, to get there.  There may be times when the climb seems too steep, or slippery, or even when you take a step backward and not ahead.  Yet we recall that Divine grace supports us precisely at times like those.  Imagine what awaits you.

Act.  Knowing that you take one step at a time provides enormous hope to us, as we go about the work of following the Jesus Movement.  Decide today what your one step will be for today.  Then take it!

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:   “Stairs ”   /Place: Vaison la Romaine, Provence, France  /Photographer: Jon Shematek