At St. James’ this Lent there are a number of spiritual exercises available for us: the Lent study group, Five Marks of Love, after High Mass on Sundays or at 5.30 for 6.00 pm on Thursdays; an hour of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament at 4.00 pm on Sundays; Stations of the Cross after the 12.10 pm Mass on Fridays.
Lent is also a time to review and renew our lives from a spiritual perspective. It provides an opportunity and encouragement to examine ourselves individually and as a church. How are we faring on our journey with Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life? Are we travelling in the right direction, or have we wandered “off piste”? The focus of the Lent study, the Five Marks of Love, the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission, is helping us here. As individuals it may be helpful to review our Rule of Life, or to consider making one for the first time.
Rather than a rigid code, a Rule of Life should be a framework drawn up prayerfully to help us in our Christian living, to walk more closely with Jesus, by grace to become more Christ-like. Elements of a Rule include a weekly/daily pattern of prayer (which should challenge us, but also be realistic, attainable), a sense of how best to use our gifts and talents in love and service of God and neighbour, financial giving to the church and to charity as we are able in thanksgiving to God for all his blessings, a commitment to respect the dignity of others in all our relationships.
Many Christians find it helpful to have a simple Rule along these lines, which offers a yardstick by which to form our lives and upon which to reflect in self-examination. Please feel free to approach any of the clergy if you would like to discuss this further.
With every blessing as we continue our Lenten journey,
Father Kevin Hunt