Dear friends in Christ
This Wednesday we shall again begin the holy season of Lent. It is a time of loving and of giving. This applies to our love of God and neighbour by which we try to love Him more by seeing Him in the face of our neighbour. The sole object of Lent is to purify our lives that we may arrive at Easter with an increase of charity, and thereby be ready, in the words of the hymn, to celebrate the eternal Eastertide.
As in previous years, I would like to offer us the opportunities to enter into the spirit of Lent by availing ourselves of one or other of the spiritual exercises we have. Lent isn’t a time for piling one devotion or good deed upon another; it is better that we try to fulfil one thing well than do several acts half-heartedly. You can find the details of the Lenten programme outlined in the pages of the Newsletter each week. All God is asking of us is that we be generous with Him and with each other.
There are several specific helps to our spirituality which I would like to highlight: firstly the weekly Evenings of Recollection in Nazareth House each Thursday; this year the theme of the evenings focuses on the holiness of the Saints. Secondly the excellent little resource of Fr Robert Barron - author of the Catholicism Project - which can be subscribed to for a daily Lenten reflection: wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/February-2014/How-to-Share-Fr-Barrons-Lent-Reflections.aspx
Thirdly, next weekend I have invited Dr Charlie O’Donnell to the Parish 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.
I hope that with these small helps to our interior lives we can spend the Forty Days of Lent as a time of loving service of God and neighbour through sincere prayer, penance and conversion.
May God bless you!
Fr Kevin Hale