“God does want us to enjoy set-apart times of prayer, but He has so much more for us! He longs for us to pray simple prayers to him on a continual basis. He wants us to live a life of prayer & to pray our way through every day. His desire is for our hearts to be sensitive to the many things he does for us & to remember to offer a “thank you Lord!” He is eager for us to ask Him for everything we need in every situation, & to keep a running dialogue with Him as we go about our daily activities. God loves us, & He wants us to be aware of His presence at all times, & wants to be in constant communion with us as we make prayer a way of life. We never stop learning to pray more effectively, & we never stop discovering of communicating with God. As we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, our prayer lives become richer, deeper, more exciting & more effective. Prayer is a progressive experience, & we keep growing in it as we keep going in it. If we stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit, pray God’s prayers & be willing to make adjustments in the way we pray as He directs, He will keep leading us to new places of maturity in our spiritual lives & to new levels of intimacy in prayer.” (the Power of Simple Prayer: Joyce Meyer) As our weighing scales tried to show at our Ash Wednesday Masses, Lent is a season to try to live simply our Benedictine balance, where the ingredients of our daily life experience are weighed alongside our three Lenten weights of prayer; giving up some habits or misdeeds; taking on some works of charity….& all done “with a cheerfulness of heart.”
Lent beganlast Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, a time of gentle reflection, prayerful self-examination, simple good works, & profound thanksgiving for the gift of our faith, in God & in each other. St Benedict’s Primary School joined us for Mass & for the imposition of ashes. They took a full part in the Liturgy in song, introduction, readings & offertory, & they were a credit to their parents & School. Please keep them very much in your thoughts & prayers as we await an imminent Ofsted Inspection. Each week of Lent we will meet with the parishioners from St Hilda’s for a Lenten Pause a half hour of silent prayer & reflection (waiting for the kingfisher). Dates each week will vary to try to include as many of you as possible. Tues 12th March St Hilda’s: Fri 22nd March OL&SB: Tues 26th March St Hilda’s: Mon 1st April OL&SB: Tues 9th April St Hilda’s. All at 5.15pm until 5.45pm. On Sun 14th April (Palm Sunday) there will be an ecumenical Stations of the Cross & Palm Procession at Byland Abbey at a time to be decided.
Caroline Dollard has generously agreed to lead a Lent Course based on her new book “Seeking God Together”. It will help us to look at how we accompany families of all shapes, sizes & make up, at every stage of their existence as part of our belonging together & our community responsibility. An introductory session & 5 “seasons” to explore. Each session will include refreshments, reflection & prayer. The introductory session is this coming Wednesday, with sessions on Wednesdays 20th, & 27th March: 3rd, 10th, &17th April 2019, 7.30pm to 9pm. If you would like to participate, a list for names is at the back of Church & the Parish will provide each individual with a copy of the book. with love & my prayers. Fr Bede