Ash Wednesday and Lent
This week marks the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent. It is a time of prayer, fasting and charitable giving which strengthens our faith and brings us closer to God and to each other. The six weeks of Lent remind us of the forty days and nights which Jesus spent fasting and praying in the wilderness before He began His Ministry. These forty days which we will journey through are a time of spiritual preparation for the Commemoration of the Suffering and Death of Jesus on the Cross on Good Friday and the Celebration of His Resurrection at Easter.
As we begin our Lenten journey, let us seek to develop and strengthen our relationship with the Lord as we walk with Him over the next few days and weeks ahead. The word ‘Lent’ is taken from an old English word ‘lencten’ which means ‘spring’. This Holy Season is to be approached not as a time of burdening and despondency but as a time of joy and hope. The Lord in His love has given us this very special and precious time so we can have a good clear out of the ‘leaven’, those things which we have allowed to build up between us and the Lord and start afresh and seek to live our lives in newness of life. May He support us as we choose to journey with Him over these sacred weeks.
Lent can be similar to a spiritual bath/spa experience and a good spring clean for our hearts, souls and minds. Let us make the very most of this opportunity we have been given and make a difference to our world, grow in our relationship with others and deepen our love for God as we seek to develop our spiritual self. So much is placed upon developing and strengthening our ‘digital image’, our ‘online self’ though the many Social Media channels and apps we are used to in our modern lives. What about our inner self, our spiritual image? Perhaps we can think of ways we might wish to improve the part of us which only the Lord sees? Lent is God’s mirror to help show us those things we need to improve or discard completely so we can begin to live as the person we would like to be and whom the Lord would want us to be also.
Lord Jesus, as Lent begins we ask for the power of Your Holy Spirit, that we may become more thoughtful towards others, more honest with ourselves, and more faithful to You. Help us to walk in Your presence and grow as the people you want us to be. Amen.
Brother Nicholas Hutchinson FSC