Lenten Reflections

RYM Daily Lenten Moments

Day 2: 'Let Go and Let God'

Well Ash Wednesday has come and gone for yet another year. We have all been to Mass, received our ashes, and have fasted. Our Lenten season has well and truly begun.

For those of you who haven't given up social media for Lent - you will have been aware yesterday that it was awash with talk, photos, videos and articles on Ash Wednesday.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other form of technological wizardry showed people proudly displaying pictures of the ashes they had received - many with clearly marked and visible crosses on their foreheads.

Just before I dozed off to sleep last night I decided to stop for a few moments. I just stopped and stared at my own ashes in the mirror. I had just received them earlier in the evening at Mass in the beautiful Maria Assumpta Chapel at Heythrop College in London.

The more I stared at my ashes - the more I couldn't stop thinking about the symbol which was emblazoned on my fair Scottish skin. The symbol of the cross!

The cross is a powerful symbol of our faith. Indeed many of us wear crosses around our neck as a visible sign of our faith in Jesus Christ - who suffered and died for us on the cross and who rose again that we might live.

We all have crosses to bear in our own lives - some that are bearable; and others which can often seem overwhelming and at times too heavy to carry on our own.

So isn't it truly wonderful that we don't have to carry these crosses on our own!

Jesus is with us every step of the way. He walks with us through our darkest night and brightest day. All we have to do is call on Him, trust in Him and follow Him.

As we enter more fully into this beautiful season of Lent, let us renounce our old ways and our habits of sin, pick up our cross daily and follow Him. Quite simply let us 'let go and let God!'

Paul Murphy

 Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry

RYM Daily Lenten Moments:

Day 1: Ash Wednesday

Here we are again. Can you believe it? Lent 2016 begins today and it feels like it has arrived very early this year. It doesn't seem so long ago since we were feasting with turkey and the trimmings, over-indulging in Christmas parties with family & friends, and celebrating the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ.

But here we are - it's Ash Wednesday - and it's a day where we reflect on where we have come from, where we are just now and where we are going.

As I get older Lent somehow feels different. It's no longer a time of just giving up those cakes and sweets or raising money for charity - often with a glum face, desperately counting down the days until I could taste chocolate again. No - it definitely seems different!

Lent increasingly now feels like a time of sheer grace. It feels like a time of real joy. A time to draw closer to Christ - through prayer. A time to give witness - through almsgiving. A time to exercise self-control - through fasting.

It's also a time for us to simply BE OURSELF. To be our true self. To be the best version of ourself. To live our lives with love, mercy and hope. It's a time to reject our false self and turn away from sin and turn back to God.

St Irenaeus once said that 'The Glory of God is us fully alive.'

Let us remember these words today as we begin our Lenten journey together! Let us remember that God wants us to be who He created us to be. He doesn't want us to pretend to be something we aren't. He just wants us to be the best we can be!

God simply wants YOU this Lent! Just the way you are!

Happy Lent everyone!

Paul Murphy

Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry

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