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Saint Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict, gave herself totally to God and founded a religious community for women. She is the patron saint of nuns and against lightning and storms. She recommended the rule of silence saying, “Either speak of God or keep silence, for, what in this world is so worthy of speech?”
There are several symbols used in Lent including the number 40, ashes, praying hands, purple, the cross, barren stones, fish, palm branches and incense. One interesting symbol is pretzels which are shaped like arms crossed in prayer. A 7th century legend suggests that pretzels were given to children as a reward for learning their prayers.
Lord God, with humble and contrite hearts, we come before you in need of your mercy and forgiveness for, in our human frailty, we often fail to do what is right and just. Reveal all in need of transformation in our lives; give us the grace to commit ourselves to repentance and restore us to wholeness. Uncover and strengthen all that is true and good in our lives and in our community; deepen our resolve to follow the example of Christ, who humbled himself for our sake. Guard us from temptation and give us a new spirit and a clean heart. May our Lenten efforts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving shape our lives and help us to faithfully live the commandment to love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
February 1st is the start of Black History Month in Canada. This past year has shed light on how racism and systematic oppression is still very much present across our country. This month, challenge yourself to learn more about Black perspectives and the Black experience in Canada, as well as educate yourself on all the notable figures whose contributions have helped shape our history and identity as Canadians.