LENT at the ORATORY

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving are the hallmarks of Lent – by the completion of which (Resurrection at Easter) each Christian should be more deeply marked out as belonging to Christ. At the start of Lent, each of us was marked with the Sign of the Cross on our heads, re-presenting the Cross which was first imprinted upon us at our Baptism and which, in the sight of God (and of Satan) continues to shine as an everlasting sign of our belonging to God and incorporation into His Family, the Church.

PRAYER is conversation with God and, like good, polite conversation, more about listening to the Other, rather than doing all the talking ourselves. While we can and should be praying while we’re doing all the humdrum things of daily life, we need to set aside specific and special times for prayer each day, morning and evening. We also need stillness and silence in which to pray properly and give ourselves a real chance of attentiveness.

Daily Mass is the best God-given form of prayer. Try to come to an extra Mass on one day each week during Lent, and spend some quality time at Eucharistic Adoration.

FASTING takes different forms but involves eating less and/or more simply, so as to focus on pleasing God rather than ourselves, and concentrating more upon Him and fulfilling His will. We could also fast from television, or the internet /social media, or from talking too much. The list of possibilities is unending

ALMSGIVING helps to acknowledge that nothing is ours – everything is from God, given to us on trust. We give away something of ourselves, our money, our possessions, to demonstrate that we don’t rely upon them but upon God alone. The money that we save from fasting could be given to our two Lenten Charities: Let the Children Live! and Hope for Food. Details are on page 3 of the March edition of our Monthly Newsletter – or we could spend less on unnecessary shopping, or selfish pursuits.

Extra Lenten events include:
Lent Study Group on Living a Holy Life (based on the ‘Walk with Me’ Lent booklet). Mondays at 10.30am Coffee, for 11am start, in the Newman Room. One of the Fathers of Brothers leads a reflection the theme (listed in our Newsletter.)
Stations of the Cross – twice on Fridays at 11.30am (before the 12.15pm Mass), and again at 6pm.

During Lent come to one of our regular events:
Daily Mass: 7.30am Mondays, Wednesday & Fridays; 12.15pm Monday – Saturday.
Confessions: Daily, 20 minutes before every Mass. Wednesdays 11am – 12noon. Saturdays 11am – 12noon, and 4pm – 5pm.
Eucharistic Adoration: Wednesdays 8am – 12noon. Saturdays 11am – 12noon.
Bible Study: Tuesdays at 7.30pm (in the Second Sacristy).
Daily Oratory: Join the Fathers & Brothers for silent meditation (Monday-Friday) 7am – 7.30am; and 6pm – 6.30pm for silent prayer, followed by Oratory Devotions.

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