Lent begins this week: Ash Wednesday, February 22. There will be Liturgy at Home on Zoom at 9:30 am, Mass & Ashing at 12:10 pm, and Solemn Mass & Ashing at 6:30 pm.
The name Lent derives from a Saxon word for spring, indicating that it is intended to be a time of growth and new life. For us in the northern hemisphere, it complements the natural spring: as we look around us, we observe the bulbs beginning to flower, buds and leaves appearing on shrubs and trees.
Traditionally, Lent has been a season of discipline and self-denial, marked by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. How do you plan to grow in your Christian life this Lent?
Prayer: review your daily pattern of praying. Try to find 10 minutes to be still each day. Consider whether to attend a weekday Mass, or join Morning or Evening Prayer on Zoom one day each week. Read through one of the Gospels a chapter/portion each day. Draw up a list of people/situations you want to pray for regularly – and use it!
Fasting: this has traditionally been a matter of discipline in relation to what we eat or drink; indeed, we may choose to do without one meal a week, a particular luxury food, or alcohol. We may discover other ways of fasting: spending less time on social media, or shopping, for example.
Almsgiving: this may be a time to review our use of money, and our giving, to those in need, to worthy causes, to the church. It may also be a time to consider our use of time, how available we are to those around us.
These observances are not an end in themselves or a punishment, rather aids to our becoming more attuned to God’s presence in, around and amongst us, in worship and prayer, yes, but also in our neighbour and in service. They are to help us respond anew to Jesus’ Summary of the Law, to love the Lord our God, with all our soul, all our mind, all our heart, and all our strength, and then to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
Lent is also a time when we are encouraged to make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, sacramental confession. Remember your priests are available to you in this way, and/or for a spiritual conversation. If you would like to know more, please ask!
Every blessing for a Happy and Fruitful Lent,
Download the Sunday service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Epiphany 7 February 19 2023