Tag Archives: lent

LENT: PAUSE, SEE, RETURN

“Lent is the time for allowing one’s heart to be touched…” Pope Francis said at Mass on Ash Wednesday. “God does not tire, nor will he tire, of holding out his hand.” He encouraged us to pause, see, and return to the Father.

He offered suggestions of how to pause, including refraining from showing off, or from an attitude which gives rise to unproductive thoughts and self-pity. These lead us to forget our call to encounter others and share in their burdens. He urged an end to the desire “to control everything, know everything, destroy everything,” which stems from a lack of gratitude for our life and what we’ve been given. Lent is a good time for the “creative power of silence” in order to “leave behind the unrest and commotion that fill the soul with bitter feelings which never get us anywhere… Pause from this compulsion to a fast-paced life that scatters, divides and ultimately destroys time with family, with friends, with children, with grandparents, and time as a gift… time with God.” Francis warned about “haughty looks” and “fleeting and pejorative comments,” words stemming from a lack of “tenderness, compassion and reverence for the encounter with others, particularly those who are vulnerable, hurt and even immersed in sin and error.”

Francis urged us instead to see – to reflect on those actions which promote faith, hope and charity – to look upon the faces of the vulnerable and in need, like families who, despite hardship, still strive to make their homes “a school of love.” May we see the faces of children and youth, yearning for a future, the faces of the elderly reflecting “God’s wisdom at work,” and the faces of sick people and their carers, whose vulnerability reminds us of the value of every person. “See the remorseful faces of so many who try to repair their errors and mistakes, and who from their misfortune and suffering fight to transform their situations and move forward.” Finally, the Pope encouraged everyone to make time during Lent to “see and contemplate the face of Crucified Love… To see his face is an invitation filled with hope for this Lenten time, in order to defeat the demons of distrust, apathy and resignation.”

Pope Francis invited all to “return without fear to those outstretched, eager arms of your Father, who is rich in mercy, who awaits you. Return without fear, for this is the favorable time to come home.”

Full text can be viewed here.

Shaken and stirred?

“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” (Pope Francis)

Lent begins on Wednesday, and Easter this year falls on 1 April. 45 or so days. I wonder, and let’s be honest – will we be any different by Easter Sunday? If the answer, based on pervious Lents, is more or less no, then that’s a challenge to allow ourselves to be shaken this year, and stir from that lethargy which can so easily grip our spirit.

Here are some things we can do…

* Mass On Sunday prepare at home, look at the readings, make sure you greet people, especially strangers… During the week why not attend a weekday Mass?
* Deanery Mass This year St Brigid’s hosts the Cardiff Deanery Mass when people gather from all over the city with the priests and Archbishop. Put in your diary – Wednesday 28 February at 7pm (note earlier time)

There will be Confessions available for the hour before Mass – this will replace our Penitential Service this Lent. * Confession Let the Lord speak to your heart about where you are in life. Celebrate Reconciliation at our regular times, or by appointment or before the Deanery Mass.
* Stations of the Cross Before Mass in each of our 3 Churches: Tuesdays at Christ the King, Friday at St Paul’s, Saturday at St Brigid’s, all at about 9am

* Walk With Me Reflections for each day – available in each church
* “Do You Love Me?” We now have many groups following this project already started or about to
* Holy Week Maundy Thursday this year at Christ the King; Good Friday at St Paul’s and Christ the King; Easter Vigil at St Brigid’s. More details later.

Most of all, have a spiritual spring clean. Take a good look at how you are living, your priorities, your gifts, your relationships – everything. Let’s have the courage to allow the Lord to really stir us this Lent!

Fr Matthew

Help for Lent

READ

…. the Bible! Try going through a Gospel such as Luke or Mark slowly, a bit at a time… A Pilgrimage Companion, a beautiful booklet from our Bishops for the Year of Mercy, 50p.

CELEBRATE

Why not try to attend an extra weekday Mass?… Arrange with friends to attend the Cardiff Deanery Lenten Station Mass at the Cathedral Monday 7th March.. Note the Holy week services – some united this year – Maundy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at Christ the King, Good Friday Liturgy at St Paul’s and Christ the King, Easter Vigil at St Brigid’s.

PRAY

Stations of the Cross each Friday at St Paul’s and Saturday at St Brigid’s 9.00am before Mass. Look at the unique Stations in Christ the King for this Lent and Come to the very special talk on the Stations at Christ the King on Thursday 3rd March. Come to Adoration Tuesday at Christ the King 10-1, Wednesday at St Paul’s 10am onwards, St Brigid’s Wednesdays 8-9pm.

REPENT

Confessions Friday 10am St Paul’s, Saturday 10am St Brigid’s and 5.30pm Christ the King. In the week before the Triduum there will be special times throughout the city when visiting priests will be available in all churches, including Christ the King on Monday of Holy Week.

GIVE

Family Fast Day this Friday 19th February. Take your envelope today…

REFLECT

We will use this after Communion this weekend. Use it at home too…

Lord Jesus Christ, we trust your words
that you did not come to search for the good and righteous
but to walk alongside each one of us
as we struggle with temptation and sin.

We ask you to walk with us this Lent.
Be with us as we try to overcome the temptations that come our way.
And teach us topray with new joy;
fast with a willing heart;
and give generously to those in need.
Amen

A change of heart

The call of Lent is the call to change, to repent, to let go – a change of heart or “metanoia”. It is a time to prepare for our celebration of the saving events that we call the Paschal Mystery – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Saviour. At the heart, then of Lent must be a serious reflection on where we are on our Christian journey.
The priest’s prayer of absolution in Reconciliation begins “God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself, and has sent the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins.” The second half continues: “Through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
All of us should try to celebrate this great Sacrament of forgiveness during Lent. This week our 3 Churches Reconciliation or Penitential Service on Wednesday 2 April takes place during the weekly “Light Is On” time, 7-8pm at Christ the King.

Note there just for this one week in Lent, will be no Confessions at St Brigid’s Wednesday evening and Wednesday Mass at Christ the King will be at 9.30am.

Here is a prayer for use at Mass and elsewhere on this the Fourth Sunday of Lent:

Lord Jesus,
you came to open the eyes of the blind.
Open our eyes to all that you seek to show us,
and open our hearts and minds to understand God’s will.
Heal us of our own greyness and melancholy
and everything that gets in the way of the joy of the Gospel.
Kindle anew the light of your love within us
so that we may joyfully live out your message in our everyday lives –
humbly and generously loving our neighbour;
and seeking justice for all God’s people.
Amen

Christ the King bidding prayers, 3rd Sunday of Lent

CELEBRANT: As a parish community we stand in the sight of God, who knows our every need. Let us ask Him then for those needs.

READER: The response is: Lord graciously hear us.

READER: Let us, with Pope Francis, ask for the grace that the Lord would give to each of us the wisdom to have confidence only in him — not in things, not in human powers; only in him.

…….. (PAUSE)……….. Lord hear us ..…. Lord graciously hear us.

READER: For those world leaders considering what to do about the situation in  Ukraine. May they be guided with wisdom to help achieve justice and peace in the region.

…… (PAUSE)…… Lord hear us ..…. Lord graciously hear us.

READER:  We pray for the church in Colombia where in the last five years 19 priests, a sister and two lay people have been murdered as they spread the message of God’s love. May they take heart in that love that died for us sinners.

 …. (PAUSE)…… Lord hear us..…. Lord graciously hear us.

READER:   For the children of the parish as they receive the sacrament of reconciliation for the first time.  May they experience the love of God in their hearts as they enter in a state of grace.

(PAUSE)…… Lord hear us..…. Lord graciously hear us

READER: We pray for Margaret Ames who died recently. May she rest in peace. Let us also remember her family and friends during this difficult time.

PAUSE)…… Lord  hear us.…. Lord graciously hear us.

READER:  Let us pray for our own needs and those of our family and friends.…. (Long Pause)…. Let us ask the intercession of the Our Lady: Hail Mary, full of grace, etc.

After a short pause the Celebrant will conclude the prayer.

CELEBRANT: Father, You gave water to the Israelites though they doubted You. Hear and grant our prayers therefore through Your Son, Jesus Christ in union with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever Amen.