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Mountainside Reflections for Lent 2024: Week One (The Soul Hurts)

'Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you' (The Sermon on the Mount)

What does the term 'holy' or 'holiness' mean to you? Is it a word defined by a set of values, by allegiance to a creed or connection with an historical figure? Is it something we posses by birthright or ancestry or is it perhaps an ongoing quest for spiritual discovery and direction?

This Lent, try to take a few moments in your own quiet space, imagining yourself on the mountainside amongst the 'multitude' of people who have assembled to listen to the address by Jesus, which we now refer to as the 'Sermon on the Mount'. He speaks directly to you as one of the crowd with clarity and authority. You sense his deep insight and wisdom. He has outlined a new vision to the people gathered, a just and compassionate way ahead, one where you too can play a part.

Your 'pearls' - positive human traits embedded within your own personality - are illuminated on hearing him. Your sacred nature is engaged. Let yourself be lifted by his words. Let nothing around or about you dampen your fresh outlook. The mountainside is lit by the sun. A 'new humanity' seems possible.

The soul can hurt underneath the weight, the burdens and preoccupations of an impulsive and forgetful world.

Yet here, you are reminded of something of the child within. Something you can embrace.

You shall move forward now, among the crowd, attentive and curious, and that little bit more aware of your own gifts and your own potential.

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