Bythe time that you receive this bulletin, we will nearly be in the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday, celebrated on March 1, begins the season of Lent and is a universal day of fast and abstinence in our universal Church Lent is the yearly celebration by the Church of its corporate conversion in Jesus Christ. During Lent, the liturgy prepares catechumens to celebrate the Paschal Mystery by the various stages of initiation. It also prepares the faithful for Easter as they recall their baptism and do penance in preparation for the greatest Feast of the year.
Lent has two major purposes. It recalls or prepares for baptism, and emphasizes a spirit of penance. Through forty days of closer attention to God’s Word and of more fervent prayer, believers are prepared to celebrate the Paschal Mystery. Lenten instructions stress these baptismal and penitential themes.
Sin has social consequences. At the heart of the virtue of penance is hatred of sin as an offence against God. We encourage penitential practices that are external and social, reflecting the circumstances of individuals and communities, as we pray and do penance for sinners. We also stress individual and interior penitential practices. The three preferred penances of the Church are fasting prayer and alms giving.
In our cluster we have a number of opportunities to get involved in the life of the Church and do penances at the same time. Just watch our Church bulletin. Thank you for taking one of the evenings and leading the Stations of The Cross, this prayer which has inspired Christians for centuries.
As the Lenten season soon begins, may you have a blessed and good Lent.
Fr. Dick Bester