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.

Laetare Sunday (a bit late)

This past Sunday was the fourth of Lent, called Laetare Sunday, named as many Sundays are, for the first word of that Mass, which comes from the opening antiphon:

"Laetare, Ierusalem, et conventum facite, omnes qui diligitis eam."

Or, for the less Latinly inclined,

"Rejoice, Jerusalem! Be glad because of her, all you who love her."

Normally, as a sign of joy, the dark and somber purple of the priest's vestments is relieved by a giddy pink. It's like the Church lurches forward with excitement and anticipation when She notes that she has rounded the corner and Lent is over half-done. While usually the priest is the only man gutsy enough to wear pink on Laetare Sunday, my sister and neice thought it appropriate that they should as well. How can a little cutie-pie like that NOT make someone smile from ear to ear?

In the Washington, D.C. area, our famed Cherry Blossoms are about to start blooming - first fruits of the spring, as if Nature and Fauna themselves are rejoicing that their King will soon rise from the dead. How wise of Mother Church to give us, her weak little boys and girls, a reprieve from our Lenten disciplines.

But alas, it's Tuesday now, and so we are back into Lent.

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