8/02/05 Let’s Live Lent

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Introductory comments of
Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland
Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 8th February 2005
We have with us this evening the Archbishop of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia Archbishop Berhaneyesus.   His presence with us is to mark the diocesan Lenten Initiative Let’s Live Lent.

We all have our childhood memories of Lent when within families we were in competition about who could give up something for longest.  During Lent we learned the art of self discipline and penance, something which brought us back to what is more essential in our lives and made us think of those who had less.


Lent has also become a time to give –not just to give up! The focus of our Lenten initiative here in the Diocese, in conjunction with Trocaire, is Ethiopia. The equivalent of a tsunami takes place every three weeks in Africa. The photos on display here in the Pro Cathedral this evening, and in other parishes, all come from Ethiopia and reflect the work of Trocaire there. They reflect the issues of hunger, lack of water and daily struggle – but also – some of the solutions, deep wells, crops community support and schools.


Also on display in our Churches in the Diocese will be Lenten cloths, like the one hanging from the gallery.  Made by Latin American artists, the cloths are a reflection on the Eucharist, Justice and Solidarity, in the spirit of the Holy Father’s Letter ‘Mane nobiscum Domine’, for the year of the Eucharist.
Lent is that season in which we prepare for Easter, when we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s passion and death and prepare to follow Jesus on the path through death to resurrection and new life.  Through our participation in the Eucharist that path of death to life becomes our daily challenge.
In Lent in a special way we use prayer, fasting and work of charity to bring us back to the essentials of our Christian practice.  This year in the Archdiocese of Dublin we want to make that renewal not just on a personal level but on a community level as diocese.  In all parishes, we want to link initiatives of faith formation and renewal with renewed commitment to solidarity.  The Eucharistic community which shares in the body and blood of Jesus must appear as the sharing and caring community at all times.