REFLECTION FOR THIS WEEK
A reflection for the week
It occurs to me that there are similarities between the first of January and Ash Wednesday and that there are parallel similarities between the four weeks of January and the six weeks of Lent. On both 1st. January and Ash Wednesday, people set out with good intentions (often of an abstemious nature) and during January and during Lent many fine ideas are subject to the ravages of practicality and temptation.
It is now too late to think about January, fortunately now past with its bad weather and lockdown, but how do we go about Lent: it’s six weeks until Easter, and we are expected to lead a penitential and disciplined existence. Now ̶ I say to myself ̶ wherein lies the spiritual gain from this exercise? I see it as a rather negative approach to a loving God who gave us a beautiful world in which to live, friends to love, and a myriad of things to enjoy.
I prefer to see Lent as a time of positivity rather than negativity, a time of reaching into the depths of our prayer lives by focusing on things of the spirit: fine, abstain from things of the world if you find that beneficial but do not see Lent just as a time to give up pleasure.
Remember, too, that we can easily congratulate ourselves on successful abstinence over several weeks, which is not what Lent is about: as Robert Herrick wrote:
Is it to faste an hour
Or ragg’d to go
A downcast look, and sowre?
No: ‘tis a fast to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
Unto the hungry Soule.
Think on it.
Deacon Douglas Macmillan
Collect for the week
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
grant to all those who are admitted
into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,
that they may reject those things
that are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.