This Wednesday, 14th February, Ash Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent, a time to prepare our hearts for the new life which Jesus brings at Easter. Just as nature awakens to growth and new life at this time of year, each Lent invites us to bring springtime to our spiritual life.

Lent lasts 40 days connecting us to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying, before going out to share the Good News. It ends before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

There is a double focus in Lent – BAPTISM and PENANCE. For those of us already baptised, it is a time to recall our BAPTISM and prepare to renew it at Easter. While PENANCE or REPENTANCE means that, knowing that Jesus loves us, we notice the times when we did not act lovingly, we tell Jesus we are sorry, we try to put things right and we begin again to try to become more like Jesus – growing closer to God’s Love by making the best choices we can.

Lent calls us to a time of self-reflection, penance and returning to God as we ready ourselves to renew our baptism