13Feb And so Lent begins….

It’s February 13th and the beginning of Lent, 46 days before we celebrate the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. In the early church it was a period of preparation for reception into the Christian Community. Now it is observed as a penitential period that leads us to the Easter Triduum and the centrality of our faith, the Risen Christ.

Our faith is both individual and collective.

Each person has a responsibility to seek the Lord in the light of their life experience, honestly and sincerely searching for the truth. Collectively we help and assist each other day by day in our pilgrimage, one step at a time.

The times we live in are indeed troubled times, the challenges to faith are many and varied. Those challenges come from within the church and beyond. We are where we are, we cannot turn back to some glorious time when everything was fine and there were no problems. First of all, such a time never existed and even if in some form it did exist the milieu then would be very different to what it is now.

We face a centralised governance of the Church where local experience and need seem to count for little. Conformity to the norm is the measure by which we are judged. When others who share our trust in the Lord are judged without fair hearing, when they only seek the good of the Church that has been and is their home, and are censured for it, we mustn’t turn away from the challenge to support them in whatever way we can.

Maybe we should all enter this period of Lent anxious to learn where the Spirit is leading us and help each other on the way.

“He aint heavy, he’s my brother” *


*”He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother” is a popular music ballad written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, the song became a worldwide hit for The Hollies later that year and again for Neil Diamond in 1970. Most recently, the song was re-recorded in 2012 by the Justice Collective to commemorate the Hillsborough disaster. You can listen to it on You Tube. http://youtu.be/svOX9dy0hyw


The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

If I’m laden at all
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

He’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother…



6 Responses

  1. Darlene Starrs

    Lent has begun and I was struck by part of today’s second reading, because it would seem, for me, very applicable to the resigning of the Pope: “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!

    I don’t know, who is all aware, but a few hours after the Pope announced his resignation, lightning struck the dome of the Vatican. There is a video on the web, if you google, video, lightning strikes Vatican…..and it is quite a spectular short video. I’m thinking the lightning bolt also points to the scripture above.

  2. Eddie Finnegan

    By Jove, Darlene, Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight. But I fear the old Roman sky god is losing his touch. Jupiter in his younger days would have taken out the Vatican and Capitol in one strike as an omen before the big event, not several hours later. Goals should be scored, not adumbrated as Brian Glanville once wrote. Adumbration, like omens, prophecy etc should usually foreshadow. ‘Being wise after the event’, as a unique selling point on the CV of an unemployed god, is not going to impress anyone in need of omnipotent omniscience. But maybe Jove was just being jovial, celebrating another victory over a minor Germanic tribe. And today, beware the Ides of February!

  3. Kevin

    I felt sorry for the man very often. Would be a grueling schedule for anyone forty years younger.

    I have at times wondered what he’d be like to just sit and talk to – human being to human being. I got a real sense of him in many (as opposed to the biblical ‘all’ 🙂 ) ways as truly contemplative. That’s where his heart would have been – is – I believe.

    Even he didn’t always toe the line. Gave Communion to a politician in a ‘second marriage’ few years back if I remember correctly.

    Speaking of Lent – he said in 2007 –

    “Conversion of the heart is at the center of Lent.”

    I believe that to be very true and something I’d hope to work at more this year. “I come to bring life and bring it in abundance…. ”


    And wherever you go Benedict – God bless you. Not an easy job for anyone.

  4. Eileen

    “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother” is a favourite of mine. Its message of sharing one another’s burden’s, without complaint, is at the heart of the Gospel. Personally, I prefer The Hollies version.

  5. Darlene Starrs

    Well, Eddie, if the lightning strike took place around 11:00p.m….I believe, there is a serious importance around the meaning of the 11th hour? from scripture? Even so, guess who’s birthday is in February? Ah ha!

  6. Erin Pascal

    It was a very good read. It is true that challenges to our faith are many and varied. That’s the very reason why we should help each other and work hand in hand for the glory of God. Thank you so much for sharing this and may God bless you.