Dear friends in Christ
Lent commemorates the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness in preparation for His public ministry. For the Christian this is the annual pilgrimage we make towards Easter. It is a spiritual springtime for our souls, a period of interior rejuvenation; at least it should be. Although the first days of Lent resonate with the Penitential Psalms and sentiments which can often sound dark and dreary, the true nature of this season is one which fills us with a joyful service of God and neighbour. Let us pursue those deeds which will make us truly happy and thus find our contentment and fulfilment in the God of mercy and compassion.
I outlined last weekend the ways that we might follow the Lenten pilgrimage with piety and devotion. Each week the schedule gives us the opportunity to undertake exercises which are not available at other times of the year: weekday Mass (e.g. Friday 6.30am and the evening devotions at 8pm); the weekly Evenings of Recollection at Nazareth House, this year around The Call to Holiness; together with all the other varied opportunities for prayer we have established within the Parish.
I ask you to pray for those thirty engaged couples who will be embarking upon the Marriage Preparation Course this week in our Parish Centre; that it may be a time of discernment, spiritual reflection and growth in the awareness of their beautiful vocation within the life of the Church.
We welcome to the Parish this weekend Dr Charlie O’Donnell whom I have invited to promote and sell a small booklet about the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith. It explains in ten steps why we are Catholics and how we can explain our Faith to others with confidence. It costs £1.99 and the profits all go to WONDER which is a Catholic Charity which helps vulnerable women around the world.
God bless us as together we make the joyful pilgrimage towards Easter!
Fr Kevin Hale