Services at St Michael and All Angels
Sunday 18th February, First Sunday of
Sunday 4th March, Third Sunday of Lent
The Temptation of Christ, St Mark’s Basilica, Venice
Sundays with no Eucharist service at St Michael’s:
Sunday 11th February, Quinquagesima
Intent: The Holy Spirit as Fire of Love
Sunday 25th February, Second Sunday of Lent
Intent: Control of speech
The preparation for Lent and Lenten preparation
The “gesima” Sunday’s are preparation for Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, Wednesday 14 February. So why prepare for Lent, which is, itself, a preparation for Easter? If we want to modify our behaviour or learn something new or develop and strengthen some aspect of moral fortitude, then thinking about what and where to start is an important first step.
Present day psychology informs us that we need enthusiastic emotional involvement in order to seriously tackle making a change in ourselves. Recently I came across an article relaying an interview with Anders Sandburg who works in the “Future of Humanities institute” in Oxford, England. His study area is computational neuroscience, and the topic of the interview was “Should we upgrade our brains?”.
The article examined if we should consider “upgrading” our cognitive, emotional and moral aspects of ourselves.
When students were asked this question, they thought they would like their attention, alertness and rote memory improved, but not empathy and kindness. Their response was based on their impression that traits such as memory and language ability were somewhat remote from their sense of self, but that emotions such as empathy and kindness were “close to my heart”.
Returning to the Lenten/ Easter preparation, this preparation period gives us an opportunity to reflect on and enhance or expand our core spiritual selves. We must feel comfortable with the process, be accepting of the growth and engage in an emotionally committed way for any change to be “grafted inwardly in our hearts”. It should not be an experience that we put on artificially, too quickly, or from a superficially excited emotional state.
In these weeks we prepare for the journey of change (the pre-Lenten period), then we begin the process of change (Lent), and through the Easter experience we move closer to being “one with God”. As Liberal Catholics this can be seen as our ultimate goal.
With God’s blessing