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The image that stays with me during these weeks of Lent is that of a “new heart”.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me”

(Ps. 51:10)


And realistically before I can receive the “new”, I must allow the “old” to be removed. Seeking a “new heart” can be a daunting journey. Luckily I do not make this journey alone… the whole Christian community is seeking this “new heart”. In fact the whole Earth community is focused on the task of renewal. Earlier today I went to the garden. My little friends – the crocuses, were waiting for me. I am always amazed at how these little creatures break through the frozen ground, wiggle around rocks and answer the call of nature’s nudging. I wonder if they whisper to each other, “let’s move together” before they decide to move from the darkness into the light, from the cramped space of the corm to the giving space of blooming. Their message is new every spring. They invite me to look at the frozen spaces in my own heart and trust that the same Energy of Love stirs within me.


Our Lenten scriptures also send us an array of messages and messengers. Today we meet King Cyprus of Persia, the outsider, the foreigner, the pagan. Wouldn’t the exiles be better to avoid him? Yet he becomes the one to release, to restore and to rebuild. If I listen, Cyprus takes me beyond safe and comfortable boundaries.


In the Gospel we meet Nicodemus, the Pharisee, the teacher, the one who must be right. Seeking a new heart is not unlike the struggle with my inner Pharisee. I find Nicodemus interesting and I listen. At first he has a lot to say, many logical questions. He isn’t the type to sign up for any fad! Yet in today’s Gospel he doesn’t speak. Has Nicodemus moved from the head to the heart?

My prayer this Lent is for a “New Heart”- one that is trusting, inclusive, and loving. “What we do with our hearts affects the whole universe; what happens deep inside of each of us has an effect on everything outside of us”.



What image holds your attention this Lent?

Who are the messengers that speak “renewal” to you?


— Emma Rooney PBVM


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