better than new

Feb 16, 2024

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Some readers will be familiar with the popular TV series The Repair Shop.

I’ve appreciated a number of the on-demand episodes and marvelled at the skill of the craftspeople who restore much loved family treasures, often badly broken or at least well worn, giving them new life.

The goal of these artists is not to make the presented objects as good as new, shiny and untouched as when first purchased, but to, while fixing breaks and damages, give the object new life, showing and even highlighting the decades of love and wear.

The Repair Shop team don’t pretend that an object hasn’t suffered misuse and even maltreatment. Instead the experts use their skill to form a new work of art, even more beautiful, more unique and more loveable than the shop-new product of a century or two ago.

I like The Repair Shop as an image of Lent. The connection came to me in yesterday’s Office of Readings: “Initially, people are made new by the rebirth of baptism. Yet there still is required a daily renewal to repair the shortcomings of our mortal nature, and whatever degree of progress has been made there is no one who should not be more advanced”. (Leo the Great)

The etymology of the word repair deepens the insight: late Middle English: from Old French reparer, from Latin reparare, from re- ‘back’ + parare ‘make ready’.

I like that.

To repair, to make ready, suggesting looking to the future rather than the past.

Lent. A time of repairing. A time of making ready.

Lent, a time when we let God repair us, making us even better than new.

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10 Comments

  1. A great way to start the day. Your words will stay with me today as I mull over them at intervals. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for this “repair” concept Fr John. esp in Lent I need it always.

    Reply
    • Excellent. Thanks for running a Lenten repair shop for us.

      Reply
  3. A time when we let God repair us. To be made better than before is a great goal for Lent.
    Thanks
    Teresa

    Reply
  4. Fr John
    What a great analogy for this first week of lent. We need this annual season of Lent to keep us well repaired for whatever God has in store for us in our future life.
    Fred

    Reply
  5. I love the way you make our faith and beliefs comparable to our everyday living. I would not have thought that the repair shop program could be connected to our spiritual lives. Thanks John.
    Christine

    Reply
  6. Thanks for such a helpful analogy and hope-filled prompt for our 40 day journey.

    Lent
    A time of daily renewal.
    A time of repairing.
    A time of making ready.

    Amen

    Reply
    • Thank you John, once again spot on. God is melting, molding and repairing us all as we grow in faith, love and mercy this Lent. Amen
      Anne

      Reply
  7. I loved that concept of “repairing.”
    Now to apply it with prayerful encouragement going forward in Lent!
    Bless you Father John for your wisdom too!

    Reply
  8. What a wonderful thought. Lent, the time of Spiritual repair. Of course, Spiritual repair can also lead to physical repair.

    Reply

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