Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

More from the Beautiful Roman Liturgy, again

This time I want to cite the Liturgy of the Hours, rather than the Missal. The collect for Monday of the Second Week of Lent prays, "God our Father, teach us to find new life through penance. Keep us from sin, and help us live by your commandment of love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen."

"New life through penance," is a beautiful expression that almost perfectly summarizes the Christian hope, in my mind. It is also a beautiful example of what might be called the Christian Paradox. Our Lord himself expressed it, among other ways, by saying, "Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it," (Lk 17:33). It is in death that we will find a more glorious Life than can be imagined; it is in suffering that we are to look for joy; it is in childlike simplicity that we attain great wisdom; the poor have great wealth in heaven; the meek shall inherit the earth. The Christian Paradox is called in some contexts The Great Reversal. It is nonsense from the outside, a stumbling block to skeptics. But to those who attempt it, who give it their all and throw their lot in with Christ's, who pick up their cross and follow Him daily, to those blessed souls something amazing happens and all the world is left astounded.

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