“Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near,” (James 5:8). 
Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of a new Lenten season. In his Lenten Message for 2015, Pope Francis encourages the faithful to have strong hearts, like that of Christ. Strong hearts model a faith which works through love. They are full of mercy, attentiveness, and generosity. Through acts of love such as communal prayer, charity, and personal conversion our lives and the lives of others are renewed. When we fully participate in Lent, we stand united with a broken world and point the way to a place in God’s heart, through the love and mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ. May each of us have a blessed Lent.
Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD
 New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Pope Francis, Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Lent 2015, www.vatican.va.
 Irish Province of Society of Jesus, Sacred Space for Lent 2015, (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2015).