For Forty Years

For forty years God's people lived in dessert land.
For forty days Elijah trudged the wilderness;
Our Lord was tempted, prayed and fasted for forty days;
Now we his Church observe the sacred time of Lent.

Have mercy on your people Lord,
Have mercy.

Lord, make us understand the dessert of this life;
The misery, the sin, the death that all mus face;
That we will conquer only if we turn to you,
With prayer and fasting and almsgiving in this Lent.

Teach us to spurn tthe pomps of Satan in our path,
Lead us to glimpse the promised land, the Mount of God,
With eyes of faith and hope that pierce the worldly gloom,
With heart of charity your Holy Spirit gives.

And when we celebrate the Paschal Triduum,
The holy days you suffered, died, and rose again;
Live in us, Lord, these sad and glorious mysteries,
Until the Last Day when eternal Easter dawns.

 Stephen Somerville

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