Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, reflects on Lent

London, UK (Friday, 02-13-2015, Gaudium Press) Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has done a Lent reflection printed in Walk with Me (a prayer and scripture journey for the seasons of Advent, Lent and Easter printed by Alive Publishing, a Catholic publishing house). The text of the reflection follows:

Lent is a penitential season, a period of examination and reflection. It is a time of repentance and contrition, inviting us all to a deeper conversion and interior renewal.Cardinal Vincent Nichols.jpg

At the very heart of Lent is a new and fresh encounter with God’s love and mercy. The message of Lent, since the very beginning, is the call or invitation to discover personally, deeply and intimately, the height, length, depth and breadth of God’s love for us.

Only the sure knowledge of God’s love can fill us with joy and happiness – the joy of Lent. This is the joy of repentance and conversion.

The theme of our Lenten journey is The Joy of Living the Beatitudes. More than anything else we all want to be happy, but how do we know God’s happiness in our lives?

The answer lies in the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus’ teaching. Through praying and reflecting on them we come to see the face of Christ. In him we find our happiness.

Jesus shows us the way to life. Jesus is the Way. He proposes the way of the Beatitudes as the path to true happiness. Throughout his life, from his birth in the stable in Bethlehem until his death on the cross and his resurrection, Jesus embodied the Beatitudes.

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St Augustine said: ‘We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.’ And St Thomas Aquinas taught, ‘God alone satisfies.’

This Lent, then, we set out together to explore the wisdom and light contained in the Beatitudes, because this teaching, which is always new, shows us the way to happiness.

The life to which God is calling us, is a life of faith expressing itself through love. As Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati once said, ‘To live without faith, to have no heritage to uphold, to fail to struggle constantly to defend the truth: this is not living. It is scraping by. We should never just scrape by, but really live’.

God is calling us not to scrape by but to be a happy people, a joyful people, a people of the Beatitudes.

+ Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

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