'I admire how our Jewish neighbors take their “high holy days” in the fall so seriously, especially the days of penance, fasting, and contrition . . .
Our Islamic neighbors fast all day and deepen their prayers for a month at Ramadan . . .
And here, my Catholic people write me for a “dispensation” on one of the six measly Fridays we’re asked to abstain from meat (big sacrifice these days!), if they even bother with the dispensation at all.
Am I being too gloomy here? You know me well enough to realize I’m hardly puritanical or a crab. All I’m asking is: have we lost Lent? Is it all now nostalgia, a museum piece, in the attics of our souls, as we tell our kids and grandkids how Lent “used-to-be”?
Lent didn’t just used to be . . . it’s needed now more than ever!
Let me ask you, is there anything different at all in your life, in the rhythm of your family and home, in your parish, this Lent?
Is it too late to get it back?'
Bishop Malcolm McMahon has made clear, nothing in the Catholic tradition of Faith is irretrievable. How wonderful it will be to see a Bishop in Liverpool be generous in the provision of the Mass of Ages. It would seem that the new Auxillary appointment at Birmingham agrees, thanks be to God!
Promoting popular devotions, the Traditional Latin Mass, the promotion of regular Confession, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, encouraging the Faithful to take Lent seriously and to fast, pray and give alms - these are all ways in which Bishops, Priests, Cardinals and Popes, indeed, can embolden the people of God in our mission to save souls and to become Saints. Who knows? Perhaps our Lenten penances and prayers for Holy Mother Church are assisting in what, God willing, could bring renewal and growth to the Church in England and Wales. However these exciting appointments have come about, PrayTell are not, it appears, too happy.