Prayer Points for Lent We are to pray “at all times, on every occasion, & in every season.” We can pray anytime, anywhere, & prayer should be as easy & as natural as breathing. Thinking “I should pray about such & such when I pray” is a stall tactic of the enemy. God hears sincere, short, immediate prayers just as much as He hears all other prayers. Most of us live busy lives, but we can pray in the midst of doing other things. We need to make the most of the time we have. We are also to pray “in the Spirit”, which means praying God’s prayers instead of our own, & letting the Holy Spirit lead us as we pray. Remember that prayer is progressive. When something seems to be missing in our prayer lives, God maybe wanting to take us to a new level of maturity, faith or effectiveness of expression in prayer. God wants us to pray, & He wants us to enjoy praying. (The Power of Simple Prayer: Joyce Meyer)
Lent has begun well for us: 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. Each week of Lent we are meeting 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 vary to try to include as many of you as possible. 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.
Caroline Dollard’s Lent Course, based on her new book “Seeking God Together”, began last Wednesday with 16 in attendance. Each person there received a copy of the book courtesy of the Parish, as a commitment to our ongoing spiritual formation so vital for each of us. The course is helping 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. 5 “seasons” to explore on Wednesdays 20th, 27th March, 3rd, 10th, &17th April 2019, 7.30pm to 9pm.
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.
Thank you to those making a special effort to come to daily Mass during Lent. Numbers have increased significantly & as a result our prayerfulness for the intentions we bring & for those of our Parish family who are unable to join us. Until recently, I have spent a week in Lent visiting St Comgall’s Parish in Bangor, Northern Ireland. In Lent they supplement their 2 daily Masses with a special 7am Mass each weekday, which gathers over 200 parishioners keen, eager & joyful to make the effort on the way to work, to school, or to home again. In spite of our current crises & difficulties, the Church is alive & well as we journey together through Lent towards the hope & promise of new life & Resurrection. We welcome to Mass this Sunday a group of Confirmation candidates & their catechists from Our Lady of Kirkstall Parish in Leeds, who are on retreat with me at the Abbey this weekend. Some years ago their group compiled a touching statement about the life & mission of their Parish. They drew the words in a circle, rather like the London Eye, with parish life slowly rotating. “this is always in motion, & you are welcome to get on & off when you need or want to. It belongs to you & you belong to it. God is at the heart, & you are always in God’s heart.” Please pray for them & for their Parish. with love & my prayers. Fr Bede