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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent 2010. Pope Benedict's Ash Wednesday

His torment is the disappearance of faith. His program is to lead men to God. His preferred instrument is teaching. But the Vatican curia doesn't help him much. And sometimes it harms him.

by Sandro Magister

ROME, February 17, 2010 – Today, Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of Lent according to the Roman rite. And the bishop of Rome is entering it, as he does every year, with ashes on his head, with a penitential procession, and with a Mass celebrated in the ancient basilica of Saint Sabina.

Today Lent has mostly faded from the general mindset of the West, where the Muslim Ramadan makes more of an impact. But Benedict XVI is visibly driven to restore meaning and vigor to this season of preparation for Easter.

This year, in addition to the message to the faithful reproduced further below with the general audience and the homily for Ash Wednesday, pope Joseph Ratzinger is also opening Lent with a double "lectio divina." He held the first of them a few days ago with seminarians of Rome, and will hold the second tomorrow with the priests of the diocese.

"Lectio divina" is a reflection on the meaning of the Sacred Scriptures, done by selecting a biblical passage and commenting on it. Pope Benedict usually improvises them, in the style of the ancient Church Fathers and of the great theological masters of the Middle Ages, but always with an attentive eye on today's culture.

Last Friday, February 12, commenting on a passage from chapter 15 of the Gospel of John for the seminarians of Rome, the pope referred to a letter written to him by a professor at the University of Regensburg, contesting the Christian view of God... Read the whole article.

AtonementOnline

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.