Dear friends in Christ
The season of Lent is a time when all of us members of the Church try to grow in virtue. It is especially the period when those who are preparing for Baptism and Admission into the Church, go into a more intense spiritual preparation. The Church strips things down to their bare minimum at this time of year so that we can focus on what is essential; so, the church is not adored with flowers, the drapes are purple and music more sombre. By focusing on what is most essential we are enabled to grow step-by-step in the spiritual life. In the Gospel of this Sunday Jesus is reminding us that we should be showing the fruits of our inner conversion by the way we live and relate to God and neighbour. All of our Lenten practises, be they increased prayer, fasting or works of charity should be aimed at this. Our main enemy is pride, which is the primary tool the Evil One employs to disable us in the struggle. Pride makes us feel that we are either too good and have no need of God’s grace and mercy or, at the other end of the spectrum, we are so bad that God would never be bothered with me and His forgiveness is impossible, Both of these positions are false and not Catholic. Virtue is always in the middle-ground and we must have a healthy detestation of everything that leads us away from God whilst, at the same time, living with complete trust in God’s goodness and care for us. As we are individuals, so we are individually loved and none of us should ever forget that.
Please keep in your prayers those who are preparing to receive the Sacraments for the first time this Easter. Also, the group of candidates from our Parish who will begin this Sunday their preparation for Confirmation when the Bishop visits in May. God bless you all in your continued endeavours to be holy this Lent!
Msgr Kevin Hale