Friday, February 22, 2013

Signs of Hope

Papa's geranium bloom

Sometimes the littlest signs of the future are the most powerful reminders of what lies ahead.

Last Sunday when we visited my parents for dinner, we were greeted by a gorgeous geranium bloom from Papa's bedroom geranium plant.  Each of the leaves was the size of my hand, the bloom was the size of a grapefruit.  Such a lovely reminder that spring is near!  

Also on Sunday, Papa continued his tradition of giving the Bears a Valentine's gift of a blooming bulb garden.  The bulb flowers are little green stubs each February when we receive the potted garden.  By the time they fully bloomed and wilting several weeks later, the March sun is melting our snow in preparation for spring.  The garden gift always helps us through the doldrums of March and Lent.  Today we celebrated the emergence of our first bloom:  a lovely purple reticulated iris.  What a lovely reminder that the preparation of Lent bring forth beautiful blossoms.

As we enter this second weekend of Lent, it's time to dig our roots a little deeper amidst the snow and cold.  Deep down, away from the distractions and enticements of the world, may we meet the warmth of the Father's constant, sufficient provision.  In a few weeks, after this time of preparation, we'll feel the warmth of the Risen Son on our backs.  Then, we'll know it's time to rise with Him and bloom again.

Gracious and holy Father, please give to us:
intellect to understand You;
reason to discern You;
diligence to seek You;
wisdom to find You;
a spirit to know You;
a heart to meditate upon You;
ears to hear You;
eyes to see You;
a tongue to proclaim You;
a way of life pleasing to You;
patience to wait for You;
and perseverance to look for You.
Grant us a perfect end, Your holy presence,
a blessed resurrection, and life everlasting.
~St. Benedict
(This prayer, a lovely focus for the season, is also a part of an ongoing Novena prayed for Pope Benedict in the closing days of his pontificate.  You can follow the Novena prayers and sign up to receive novena emails at

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