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Chaplain's Chat 14th February 2018

Lent

The season of Lent is upon us again.  Traditionally, this is a time of fasting, repentance and prayer in preparation for Easter.  Lent calls us to focus more on the spiritual aspect of our lives, and in particular, to focus on repentance. Repentance is to feel remorse for what one has done or failed to do, and to resolve to do better in the future. 


Part of this process of Lenten reflection and repentance has traditionally been to seek to detach or distance oneself the things of this world. People have given up things or habits such as smoking, watching too much television, eating chocolate and sweets. The rationale behind this is that people who are weighed down by their physical desires are less able to focus on their spiritual needs or the needs of others, and to respond to them.


 
I came across a Lenten reflection that suggested a list of things that could be ‘given up’ for Lent.

Give up complaining - focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism - become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments - think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry - trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement - be full of hope.
Give up bitterness - turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred - return good for evil.
Give up negativism - be positive.
Give up anger - be more patient.
Give up pettiness - become mature.
Give up gloom - enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up gossiping - control your tongue.
Give up sin - turn to virtue.


As we practice giving these up during Lent, the habits that we create will continue beyond Easter and make us better individuals.


For some time now, my focus in Lent has not been so much to give up things but to take up things; to take up more time to pray, to make time to reflect on the mysteries of God, to make time to read the bible.  I encourage you to do the same.

Any of these things, either giving up or taking up - can be daunting for us as we seek to empty ourselves of the clutter of the world and to replace them with the grace and peace of God. 

My prayer for you is that during this time of Lent, you will be able to do some of these things and thereby make space and time for God to replace the things of this world with the things of heaven.

God bless.

Reverend Dave