Archive for March, 2019

Lenten Challenge: Can You Be Rich in Mercy?


There is something about a new beginning that has the power to revive a tired spirit. Letting go of past grievances can be very liberating. The line from Frozen – ‘Let it go!’ – sung with great gusto by my five-year-old as she bursts into a room in full costume inspires forgiveness.

Liturgically we have the time of Lent to remind us of God’s never-ending mercy. Showing mercy towards one another this Lent means more to God than anything else. Jesus was merciful to all sinners. In the powerful line of scripture, Jesus defends the adulteress awaiting her stoning, saying, ‘Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.’ He urges us to look inward and reflect on our own lives rather than judging our neighbour. Sometimes that is easier said than done, but Lent gives us a defined period of time to fast, pray and give alms.

My late granny would say often, ‘There’s so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the rest of us that it ill behoves the best of us to talk about the rest of us.’ This Lent, as we are reminded of our mortality by the sign of the cross on our foreheads, let us make a conscious effort to forgive and forget because life is fragile and passing us by.

The arrival of the month of March reminds us that time marches on and waits for no one. Give someone you are struggling to forgive a call this Lent, write a letter of forgiveness or, better still, meet up in person and say sorry. Some time ago, a young person with whom I had worked years before reached out to me. She was on a mission of mercy, meeting all the people she felt she needed to apologise to in person. It took great courage and that meeting has always stayed with me.

— Amanda Smith.

Significant days: Women’s World Day of Prayer (2 March); Shrove Tuesday (5 March); Ash Wednesday (6 March); St Senan (8 March); St Patrick (17 March); St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (19 March); The Annunciation of the Lord (25 March).

READ: Climate Generation: Awakening to Our Children’s Future by Lorna Gold

LISTEN: Let it Go by Idina Menzel

CONSIDER: Take up the Lenten Challenge #Pennies4Plastics: A Lenten Initiative from the Church of Ireland, Eco-Congregation Ireland and the Representative Church Body

Throughout Lent 2019, the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, Eco-Congregation Ireland and the Representative Church Body (RCB) will be inviting individuals, families, parishes, schools, and Sunday schools and clubs to prayerfully reduce their use of plastic.