This morning, Tuesday 27 March, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor was on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.
Here’s his Lenten Pause for Thought…
At the beginning of the Second World War, aged seven, I stayed with my grandmother for six months. Every morning at breakfast, she gave me crusts of the bread loaf to eat and I did not like them so I put them day after day behind the chest of drawers. Then came the spring cleaning and she showed me the big pile of mouldy crusts. Oh dear, I knew I shouldn’t have done it!
Do you sometimes feel there is something in your shoe – maybe a tiny stone or a pebble? It makes you uncomfortable and unable to walk freely. I think, in a sense, that is quite true for all of us – something prevents us from walking freely. I call it a ‘pebble’ in the shoe. Is there a pebble in your shoe, something that nags away at you, maybe a deep rooted anger or jealousy of someone, or a relationship which you know to be wrong? It could be all manner of things. But it’s there, continuously, and deep down you know you want to be free of it.
Now is a period called Lent and the word itself means ‘springtime’, time for new life, fresh beginnings and growth. It’s a time when we, like Jesus, die and rise again. We die to sin and rise to freedom and goodness. So that’s my challenge for you today. If you have a pebble – or maybe two – in your shoe, now is the time to take off your shoe and shake it. Face the demon in your life and ask for healing and forgiveness of your neighbour and, indeed, forgiveness of God. You will be surprised how much better you will feel.
Every Friday I say this prayer which comes from a psalm: Indeed you love truth in the heart and in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom. O purify me and I shall be clean, O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.
The Cardinal’s Lenten Pause for Thought is on BBC iPlayer until 3 April 2012. The reflection is 2h 51m into the show.