Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Into the Desert

Last year our Ash Wednesday observances were exceptionally well attended: I wasn't anticipating a repeat performance this, given the wind and rain battering the walls of the church, and we didn't get one. The only not-quite-familiar face was a young man who works at a public school locally: 'You're the only church with a lunchtime mass on Ash Wednesday for, what, fifty miles!' he explained, exaggerating in a gratifying way.

My personal priorities for Lent are two, and both arose from the mini-conference about parish mission we held a couple of weeks ago. I want to be a more restful presence (having met a priest who I found wasn't) and will make an effort to cultivate stillness and stop fidgeting, especially when praying. I will also try to be more prayerful going about the parish, intentionally calling people and events to mind as I pass houses and locations. That's aside from simply getting through the whole thing without an unconscionable breakdown in temper, an aim in which I am sometimes successful.

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