Letter - March 2000
begins with a series of special days: We have Shrove Tuesday for our
pancakes, Ash Wednesday as a day of penitence… but eventually we get
round to just plain old Thursday - I suppose at some point, perhaps
reluctantly, we have to get on with the business of Lent.
And who can blame us if we’re reticent?
It's only the rare ascetic amongst us that says “oh goody” at the
prospect of 40 days of fasting and self-denial until the next set of special
days: Good Friday, Easter Sunday etc.
their Lenten observation may be limited to a restriction on Chocolate.
If we're honest, our motivation may be more vanity and health rather than
spirituality. For the vast
majority, of course, Lent means nothing at all.
It’s merely the gap between Jif Lemon Day and that funny bank
holiday that's a bit of a pain because it moves around each year.
is a serious purpose in the application of the Lenten disciplines: prayer,
fasting and contemplation. They’re
not arbitrary, they’re a means to an end.
Come Easter, we expect to be different, to have changed and grown.
And that is what Lent is all about: Being changed and becoming the person
we're meant to be.
may not be fashionable nor easily comprehended in our self-orientated
self-indulgent society, but nevertheless, it's lost none of its potency over the
it is that gives us the power to change our lives, whether it’s the spiritual
disciplines of Lent, or in God's "mysterious ways" simply the lessons
of life, we can’t pretend the process is comfortable.
Change rarely is. But it can
be good. So here's to a good if at
times uncomfortable Lent! God bless
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