April Editorial & Parish Magazine

Here is 'The Messenger' downloable for free: April Magazine.


Dear brothers and sisters,

Happy Easter! Phew! We have made it through the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent, through the lows of Holy Week and darkness of Good Friday, and have wonderfully been able to celebrate the joy of Easter, knowing that Jesus has triumphed over evil, darkness and death to bring us eternal hope. We can joyfully declare that Christ is risen - He is risen indeed!

It can be a relief to be able to celebrate Easter after the darkness and depths of Lent, and if we have given something up, it can be a relief to be able to enjoy that piece of cake or chocolate on Easter Sunday, or that glass of wine with our Easter lunch. But, before we return to ‘business as usual’, let’s pause to consider if there was anything good from Lent which it would be worth incorporating into our lives going forward.

If we have given up anything for Lent, we don’t have to go back to indulging in it as much as we did before. The things we give up are not usually bad things, God isn’t anti-chocolate or anti-television, thankfully, but Lent encourages us to recognise where we rely on these things rather than on God, and it means that if we do start using them again after Lent, we will have a better, more balanced relationship with them going forward.

Equally, if we have taken up anything during Lent, perhaps making time to follow the Lent devotional, or making more time to pray, hopefully we have seen an impact on our spiritual lives, and we can consider how we can incorporate some of these positive practices going forward. If it was good to do during Lent, it is most likely to be something good to do afterwards too, and now that you have established that habit it is easier to carry on now than try to re-start later in the year! If you would like help in finding helpful devotional resources which you can use beyond Lent, please do have a word.

We were trying to think this year about how to help Amelie to understand a little bit about what Lent is for, and of the benefit of being sacrificial and kind, so she has had a ‘bean jar’, and when she has done something particularly kind or chosen to give something that she’d like up for someone else (like some of her precious cake!), she has been given a ‘bean’ to go in her jar. On Easter Sunday, to much excitement, these beans were exchanged for chocolate! But now that Lent has ended, of course, we still want to encourage Amelie to keep being kind and to put others first, and so in the coming weeks, when Amelie does something kind or gives something up that she would like for someone else, she will be able to have one of the chocolates from her ‘bean jar’. Whilst we may not have a ‘bean jar’ to encourage us beyond Easter, the principle still remains for all of us to stick with those practices which have been beneficial.

Let’s take a little time to reflect on anything we have found helpful during Lent and pray about how best to make good use of this in our life going forward. Hopefully we’re spiritually fitter now than on Ash Wednesday so let’s not lose that fitness but instead, with God’s help, push on to bigger and better things.

God bless,
Fr Mike & Natalie