Last year, for me, was the year of the Roses.
In my garden, there was a stone monolith thing with a spiky plant in a flower bed, & a passion flower which Fr. Martin planted; and that was about it.
So I planted roses, which I love – climbing roses (including, naturally, “Rambling Rector”) and roses in pots along the patio. They all flourished, especially the potted ones which flowered magnificently.
Come February this year, I pruned all the roses in pots quite hard & fed them with rose fertilizer; as I write, the new shoots are just starting to show and I will look forward to their Spring growth and Summer flowering Glory.
Lent is a time for the pruning of the soul, in acts of penitence and self-denial , and a time to be fed by Lent Group discussions, Lent books and participation in the journey of Holy Week culminating in Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. It is a time to cut off dead branches – the habits, the behaviours and patterns of life that separate us.
God and our relationships with other people- and to embrace the Life of the Resurrection.
All this is so that we can grow both as individuals and as a Pilgrim Community, so that we can put out new shoots of spiritual and community growth, come to flower in our Spiritual lives and so produce abundant fruits of Love and Joy, of Peace and Hope.
This New Life in Christ is the message of Easter, that the Light of Christ may shine in our hearts and be shown in our lives and the lives of our Churches.
So Happy Lent: may it be a time of fruitful journeying; and when we finally get there, Happy Easter!!
Love, Fr. John
p.s. This year is the ‘year of Clematis & honeysuckle’!!