Lent at Cardiff Cathedral

“During these days, therefore, let us add something to the usual amount of our service, special prayers, abstinence from food and drink, that each one offer to God “with the joy of the Holy Ghost,” of his own accord, something above his prescribed measure…”

~ Rule of St. Benedict ~

On Wednesday, with the solemn distribution of ashes, we begin the penitential season of Lent. Lent is a time of grace for the Church, during which we are invited to prepare ourselves to celebrate the salvific actions of Christ, His Passion, His death, and His Resurrection. St. Benedict has a whole chapter dedicated to the keeping of Lent. St. Benedict’s reflection, as partially noted above, is a reminder to us that Lent is about far more than undertaking a programme of self-improvement, or what one priest calls a “faithful faith-based ethics”; rather it is an invitation to enter deeper into the mystery of Our Blessed Lord’s Passion.

Lent prepares us to ‘let go’ of those things in our lives which get in the way, which may impede our striving for intimacy with the Lord. St. Benedict is exhorting us to “add something to the usual among of service”, in other words, to open ourselves up to becoming truly attentive to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The marks of Lent – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – are vehicles which aid us in our attentiveness to the Lord as he speaks directly to us. There’s more information about these inside the newsletter. Please be assured of my prayers as you begin this season of Lent, and I ask for your prayers, also.

Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross are prayed every Friday during Lent, beginning at 12:00pm. The purpose of the Stations of the Cross is to draw us more deeply into the reality, mystery, and mercy of the cross, so that we might experience the love of God more truly and powerfully.

Leaning on the breast of the Lord

When we reflect upon the Last Supper scene, we can so easily overlook a beautiful moment of intimacy between the Beloved Disciple and Our Lord, when the Beloved Disciple leans on the breast of the Lord. This Lent gives us an opportunity to discover this intimacy during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; a moment when we can lean on the breast of the Lord, and allow heart to speak unto heart. There will be additional opportunities for silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the 12:45pm Mass during the weekday, ending at 3:00pm.

Quote from Pope Benedict XVI: “In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering”.

Lenten Alms

There are three marks of Lent – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Almsgiving is a witness of fraternal charity and work of justice pleasing to God. This year, money raised through the Lenten Alms will be for the homeless, both in the city of Cardiff and around the Archdiocese. The collection box for the Lenten Alms can be found at the front of the Cathedral, in the wall safe near the sacristy door, marked clearly with ‘Lenten Alms’.

Lenten Lunches at the Cornerstone

Following last year’s successful series of Lenten Reflections, delivered by a range of speakers, the Cornerstone will play host, again, to a series of talks on each of the Fridays of Lent. 

As we are now in the Year of the Word, speakers have been invited to give us an insight into how the Scriptures have shaped and influenced their personal Faith journey.

The format will be similar to previous years in that there will be a soup and roll lunch served from 1.15.pm There is no specific charge for the soup and roll though a donation towards the charitable work of the Archdiocese is welcome. Each talk starts at approx. 1.30pm and the lunchtime event should be finished by approx 2.30pm.

The schedule for the Fridays of Lent is set out below:

Friday 28th February – Kate Duffin, Scripture Champion, Archdiocese of Cardiff.

Friday 6th March – Christian Mahoney – Chair of Governors, St David’s College, Cardiff.

Friday 13th March – Fr Chris Fuse IC, Provost Provincial –Institute of Charity.

Friday 20th March – Fr Michael Akpoghiran O.P. – Director of Evangelisation, Menevia.

Friday 27th March – Michael & Nora Woodward from the Charismatic Renewal.

Friday 3rd April – Abbot Paul Stonham OSB- Belmont Abbey.