Lent is upon us, with Ash Wednesday this coming week. At our Masses that day the Imposition of Ashes gives us a stark reminder of both our mortality, and of our individual and corporate need of repentance and forgiveness: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return;” “Turn away from sin, and be faithful to Christ.”

It is a solemn season, and an opportunity for renewed self-discipline in the practice of prayer, self-denial and charity, but it may also be a time for joyful confidence in the grace and love of the God who longs to embrace us as we are and to mould us into the Christ-like people he is calling us to be.

For Lenten discipline, you may care to consider one or more of these: to fast in some way, denying yourself a particular luxury or entertainment; to devote more time each day/week to prayer or spiritual reading; to give of time or money to a particular charity or good work.

Lent comes from an Anglo-Saxon word for spring, the season of growth, new life, blossom. May this Lent be a time of growth, new life, blossoming for all of us here at St. James’. Let us open ourselves to the Spirit, to the working of God’s grace, to being moulded more and more into the likeness of Christ.

Every blessing for a holy and joyful Lent,

Fr. Kevin