We hope you are all well and the children are looking forward to a more relaxed half-term- well as relaxed as possible given the lockdown circumstances. At the least the COVID figures are going the right way so hopefully the phased return to school isn't too far away.
Here is this week's Children's Liturgy video- https://youtu.be/id9vsFWvImc
As you no doubt know, Lent starts this week, with Ash Wednesday on 17th February. If Lent is a time for practising a little self-discipline, then I’m sure we might all protest that we have been living Lent in one way or another for the last, almost twelve months! So many of the ordinary social activities which make life so much more pleasant have been denied us; occasions of visiting and spending time with family and friends have been severely restricted. However, it takes some honesty to look at our lives and to ask ourselves what other behaviours and activities have established themselves within the new routines brought about by the pandemic restrictions.
We could use the image of a garden in which all the plants and flowers have been pulled up—that would be only one part of the problem! The other side of the problem is that the weeds are always waiting to take advantage of their new opportunity to grow and to spread! Our faith needs to be nourished by prayer and sacraments, without which, our sense of God’s presence and activity is gradually eroded. In the Gospel for Ash Wednesday Jesus reminds us of three ways, prayer, fasting (penance) and almsgiving, where we can put God and others before ourselves and so grow stronger in faith.
Maybe as a family you might like to think of one activity you can do together for Lent in your family, to help you come closer to God.
With every prayer and blessing
Fr David and Monica