Another week has begun and this week marks the beginning of lent with Ash Wednesday on Wednesday…obviously!

Perhaps we are still wondering what we will give up for lent and like Father Ted on craggy island it might not be so easy!

However the real spirit of giving something isn’t to grow in will power but to grow in grace and strength in God’s power!

If we over focus on giving something up then that becomes the God and the ‘why’ behind it is soon forgotten!

With such an attitude we are bound to fail like poor Sister Assumpta did with the chocolate!

So what is a healthier approach!

Well focus on what you want! Suppose you are praying for somebody’s healing, imagine them healed and every time you are tempted to break your lenten promise bring your mind back to your goal and ask God’s grace to help you!

As you make a lenten sacrifice you will see your own weakness and how tempted you are after a few days or even a week to give up!

Rather than see this as a bad thing, learn to see it as a good thing and counterbalance it with more prayer!

In other words! Don’t just give up something for lent! Take something up too! Prayer!!!

Maybe this lent you could go to church a little more often or incorporate daily prayer and meditation into your life.

For those of us who are catholic we are spoilt for choice over lent with so many masses and prayer meetings so regularly available to us! Praise God!

This time can also be a time of discernment and self-reflection.

Am I happy with my life?

Where is it all going?

What do I need to change?

Where do I need help?

These are all good questions to ask and remember the church is full of priests and people of prayer to help answer these questions. We don’t have to do it alone!

So let’s not give up like Father Ted!

Rather let’s help one a another to grow closer to God, closer to one another and closer to the plans for happiness and wholeness that He has for our lives!

United we are stronger!

Have a blessed week and keep us in your thoughts and prayers over this lenten period that we may touch more and more people all over London and the world through our prayers, our lives and our witness.

Michael