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O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Look at this image of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  What is the very first thing that you notice?  Now look more closely at the details.  The dome, the two crosses, the light and dark, stone and trees.  What do you see now?

Reflect. Once again, we consider the cross as we come to this holy place that tradition says is the place of Jesus’s burial.  The Collect reminds us that the cross for us is the means of life, eternal life with the Divine One.  We use the words “glory in the cross of Christ,” which seems counterintuitive to us.  Yet when we see the splendor of crosses such as the one that adorns this church, we have a glimpse of how the means of death can become for us the means of life.  What does that mean for you?

Act.  Today identify something in yourself that should die so that something life-enhancing may emerge.  Work to let go of that negative feature of your existence, and become ready to embrace a new life.

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:   “The Church of the Holy Sepulchre” /Place: Jerusalem  /Photographer: Jon Shematek