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A parishioner receives an ash cross on her forehead from during an Ash Wednesday service in Texas (CNS)

Lent is more than a spiritual boot camp

The modern tendency is to over-spiritualise Jesus’s time in the desert by making it all mythological

Ridley Scott poses during a photocall for his film "Exodus" (PA)

Hollywood is full of bright people with a nose for the next classic, but they do not always find it

Pope Francis at yesterday's Angelus (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 30/12/13

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

‘A new heart create for me, O God’

Twenty Fourth Sunday of the Year: Exodus 32:7-11 & 13-14; 1 Tim 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32

Time to stop the Christian exodus from the Middle East, says Vatican

The plight of Christians in the Middle East is threatened by an “extremist current” of “political Islam” and is being ignored by the world, the Pope has said ahead of a new Vatican report