The London based Catholic Herald last week published an amusing list of what some famous (and some not so famous) people were doing for Lent.

Lord Alton will take up the reading of Thomas a Kempis (the Imitation of Christ).   Bishop Arnold will study Lumen Gentium.  Sister Wendy Beckett, the art critic is not keen on giving up but on looking up –to Christ on his Cross.  Screen writer Frank Boyce is giving up tea and coffee and Anne Widecombe is giving up all liquids except water!  Bishop Hopes will do without bread and Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor will watch less T.V.

Quite a few said they would give up gossip and some focussed on giving up facebook, messenger programmes etc.  Some will stop reading blogs altogether.

Unfortunately the column was written before the dramatic announcement that Benedict XVI will give up the papacy!!

But what about us?  Give up or take up?

Whatever we do it should impact on the three pillars of our Lenten tradition:

PRAYER;      Perhaps attendance at daily Mass, or at the Novena or at the stations of the Cross.  Maybe more quiet time at home ?

FASTING:   Perhaps liberating oneself from a habit that distracts from our Christian discipleship ?  Maybe fasting from food with helping those who have no choice about being hungry?

ALMSGIVING:  Perhaps taking our Time, Talent, Treasure seriously and helping the parish in the many areas  of need.?

Concerning all of the above, don’t forget Matthew 6: 3,4,6, and 18.

Whatever we give up or take up for Lent 2013, may we all journey joyfully to the Great Easter.


Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.

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