Lent – 2015
Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
It may be difficult to believe, but the Lenten season is already upon us. It seems that we have hardly completed our celebration of Christmas and the Epiphany, and we might still be basking in the afterglow of those miracles. So it is understandable that we might experience some level of surprise when we are presented, quite suddenly, with the fact that our behavior and attitude must abruptly change from one of glorious exaltation, to one of humble contrition. Such is the way of life in the Catholic Faith.
But even as we are reminded during Lent of our sinful nature, and of the necessity to truly repent for our offenses, still we must never forget that this season is not totally devoid of Hope. To be sure, this is not the same Hope that we experience at the Miracle of Our Lord’s Incarnation, nor is it comparable to that Joy we will proclaim as we celebrate the Mighty Resurrection and Glorious Ascension of Christ. Instead, the Hope that we may know during Lent is inspired by the knowledge that we have been granted, by the Grace of God, the opportunity to cleanse ourselves and to purge from us all those impurities of heart and mind that prevent us from truly knowing Christ. It is a Hope that is inspired by a true and heartfelt gratitude for the Sacrifice that Our Lord has offered on our behalf.
Enclosed you will find a schedule of Lenten Services that will be offered at St. James in the coming weeks. I encourage you all to include your attendance at these services as part of your Lenten devotions this year; to avail yourselves of the opportunity to experience this Hope; through your attendance at the Friday devotions of the Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the regularly scheduled Requiem Masses celebrated on the 4th Saturdays in February and March, and the offering of Choral Evensong and Benediction on the Feast Day of St. Patrick (March 17). I encourage you to join your brothers and sisters in Christ in the spirit of humility, penitence and contrition during this Lenten season, and at the end of it, to likewise share in their Joy.
Yours in Christ,
Daniel J. Jennings+