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Spiritual Growth

Lent

Under the blanket of snow

shades of brown, scrubby,

matted grass peaks through

in the colder North.

The bleakness even covers the rainy winter season

of Southern and Western climates.

All lies dormant, dreary, and dark.

All is resting for a time –

time to recoup, refresh, to reenergize.

This is nature’s way of preparing for the first bursts of spring.

This gloomy season of winter holds within,

its embrace the Lenten bleakness of

the parade of Christians each waiting

to be marked with the ashen cross.

Reminder of deaths: winters, loved ones, our own –

let us pray for the courage to mourn them all.

Eager to jump quickly into spring,

the longer but colder days hem us in.

Eager to leap into Easter’s alleluias,

Lent draws us back

inward to face the cross.

We need winter’s solace and Lent’s sacrifice

to bring us round,

            cleaned and scrubbed;

                        fasted and forgiven,

                        prayed and reflected;

                                    given and giving up.

In secret we know how much we need

            these forty days.

Facing the cross brings us to that place where

            we can truly know the glories of Easter –

                        sending up its tender green shoots

                                    of gratitude,

                                                grace,

                                                            and wisdom.

                                                                                    Carol A Gura

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