February is a month of transitions and also of journeying.
In terms of the seasons, we are emerging from a surprisingly mild winter (the daffodils by my front door were in bud in December!) and we are looking towards the coming of Spring. The mornings are getting lighter (I’m not in the dark any more getting up for my Uckfield F.M. “Thought for the Day”, which is a relief!) and there is a sense of renewal.
In the Church year, at Candlemas, which we will celebrate this year on Sunday 3rd February, we cast a last look backwards at the Christmas Crib, and also a first look forwards towards the journey of the Cross in Lent and Easter. Mercifully this year Ash Wednesday on March 6th doesn’t crash in for a while (Easter Sunday this year is on the 21st April – almost as late as it can be), so we have a little space to take stock, not just of the life of our Church communities, but of our own life journeys as individuals.
To help us, can I suggest a little book Bishop Martin has written for us - “A Way of Living”? It is a little guide through the seasons, and aims to help develop our personal Rule of Life in the context of the journey each of us undertakes. In some ways it follows on from the Ignatian Spirituality Course a number of people used last year. Bishop Martin has written it as part of the “Year of Vocations” initiative which all the churches in Chichester are undertaking in 2019, and is offering it to us as our Father in God, as the lead Pastor of our Diocese.
There are a few copies at the back of each of our churches: I can get more if we run out!
Enjoy February: may it be a blessed part of the Pilgrimage we all take together this year!
Love, Fr. John