ASH WEDNESDAY: 17 FEBRUARY 2021
ARE YOU READY FOR
THE START OF LENT?
A SMALL DISH OF
IS ALL THEY ASK FOR
WE CARRY GOD'S LOVE
TO PLACES LIKE THIS
AND UPLIFT POOR PEOPLE
IN HIS NAME
OUR WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA
SHARE YOUR BLESSINGS
ON THE MISSIONS
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
LENT WILL BE VERY DIFFERENT THIS YEAR
Many Catholics around the world will spend Lent in some form of lockdown, as the Coronavirus continues to impact on daily life.
Even if you are able to go to Church on Ash Wednesday, you may not receive the traditional mark of the cross on your forehead. Priests have been asked by the Vatican to limit contact by sprinkling ash on people’s heads instead.
You may not be able to go to confession or mass at all.
But the enforced solitude and giving up of enjoyable activities are symbolic of Lent’s spiritual practice of fasting, self-denial, prayer and contemplation. So, lent under lockdown could be viewed as a period of retreat, with extra time for prayer or spiritual reading.
Social distancing can also be made into an act of sacrifice. But spending Lent in isolation does makes it more difficult to perform good deeds. So I offer you these ideas:
- Choose someone to pray for every day;
- Write someone a letter (or email) of gratitude for their friendship or past kindness;
- Call or Zoom call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while;
- Check up on those who live alone and offer to do their shopping if necessary;
- Pray for those who are suffering from this disease worldwide – and for the front line health workers who are putting their lives on the line;
- Use digital platforms to give generously to help those who are poor, suffering or in need.
There are many poor people on the Zulu Missions who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Many have lost their jobs – mostly women or unskilled workers scratching a living in the informal sector.
Trapped in poverty, without adequate access to health care, they turn to the Church for help. And we depend on the goodwill of others around the world for support. Although you may not be able to be with them in person, you can share with them in spirit by making a donation to The Bishops’ Lenten Appeal.
Your donation could provide food for a family going hungry right now, care for an orphaned or vulnerable child, or health care for someone who is old or sick.
Please also include our Mission people in your prayers during Lent – as we continue to pray for your special intentions at our monthly Mass for Mission friends.
May God bless you and keep you safe through this sacred season of Lent.
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU
If you would like us to pray for your special intentions, please list them on the form below for inclusion in our monthly Mass for friends of the Missions.
There are times when we feel weary, sad, confused or afraid. And then there are times when we burst with joy and thankfulness. Our selection of prayers and readings help you talk to God in good times and bad.
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