Dear Friends in Christ
Most Catholics across the entire world will go to Holy Mass on Wednesday and hear the priest pronounce Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return as ashes are placed upon our heads. These words, taken from the very first pages of the Bible (Genesis 3:19) remind us of our mortality and that we have been given this time on earth for a purpose: that we might know, love and serve God. This is the one and only Truth that we need to know and live; everything else is secondary; only God matters. If we can begin Lent this week with God at the centre of our lives, and keep him there throughout the coming Forty Days, then we shall have done Lent well. The specific way that God asks us to do this is by prayer, fasting and charity; all deeply biblical virtues which have one aim, one purpose: to bring us into deeper friendship with God by purging any excessive attachment to the things of the earth. Purification is the heart of this holy season that lies ahead of us. The Church - each one of us - is in deep need of purification at the present time. As we see and hear of so many trials and troubles in the world and in the Church, the motivation for this purification is clear.
During this Lent let us resolve to pray more, perhaps by attending a weekday Mass in addition to our Sunday obligation, make the Stations of the Cross, or read the Gospels prayerfully. Fast by abstaining from some food, drink or other luxury in order to unite the offering of our sacrifices with those of Jesus in His Passion. Do some act of charity whereby we become the hands and face of Christ to someone who needs our love. By these time-honoured acts of religion, we will make sure God is the centre of our lives and arriv at Easter - aided by Mary’s prayers - with joyful hearts and minds.
God bless us as we embark on this Lenten pilgrimage.
Msgr Kevin Hale