Sunday, 13 March 2022

Praying in Lent, 13 March 2022
Crossing Borders with USPG

‘Living Stones, Living Hope’ … a Lent Course for Lent 2022 produced by the Anglican mission agency USPG

Patrick Comerford

Today is the Second Sunday in Lent (13 March 2022). Before today begins, I am taking some time early this morning for prayer, reflection and reading.

During Lent this year, in this Prayer Diary on my blog each morning, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, Short reflections on a psalm or psalms;

2, reading the psalm or psalms;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

However, we are celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day later this week (17 March). So this morning, instead of reflecting on a psalm or psalms, I am sharing the introduction to the prayers in the USPG prayer diary this week, which I was invited to write.

CROSSING BORDERS

Canon Patrick Comerford, Priest-in-Charge of the Rathkeale Group of parishes in the Church of Ireland:

The Church of Ireland is quite different to many other member churches in the Anglican Communion: we are a cross-border church, geographically embracing both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Four of the eleven dioceses are cross-border dioceses. Half of the Church finds itself in the European Union; half the Church is within the United Kingdom. The social problems that have resulted are far more – and far deeper – than the variety of goods on supermarket shelves, or the different expectations in health care and education.

Apart from daily fears about the return of political and sectarian violence, all the churches on the island are facing challenging questions about cultural and political diversity and cross-community respect. Any cross-community conversation is in danger of losing trust and respect because of underlying fears of sectarianism, memories of violence, and agendas that remain without articulation.

An inspiring example of ongoing cross-community initiatives is a multichurch project in West Limerick to create understanding and a shared space for Travellers, who are a large ethnic minority in the area, and the people of Rathkeale, who fear losing their social, economic and cultural place in the town.

Today’s Prayer:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary this morning (13 March 2022, Lent II) invites us to pray:

‘The Lord is my light and my salvation, Whom shall I fear?’ Let us find strength and courage In our faith and in communities of faith.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Saint Patrick seen in a window in Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge, Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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