In Lent, we should strive to hear them, be kind and open. Try to understand that beneath their sometime outer hardness and obstinacy is an acute sensitivity and tenderness, a genuine openness to God's spirit.
The waste and agony of dying are all around us. Death has come to mean an impersonal body count. Horror stories fill TV screens and usurp press headlines. How can we simply go on as if this kind of tragedy were absent?
Its trunk seems sturdier than some belief systems. Its branches are hospitable and inviting. I'm aware of my age and accompanying collection of aches and pains. These are also litanies of anxiety that seem to have marked my being.