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The Mwanga Recollections

“Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give You thanks.

This great season of grace is Your gift to Your family to renew us in spirit.
You give us strength to purify our hearts,
to control our desires,
and so to serve You in freedom.
You teach us how to live in this passing world,
with our heart set on the world that will never end.”

(The Second Preface for Lent)

This Preface for Lent rightly confesses that Lent is a season of grace. During this season of Lent many Christians who have wandered away from the Father’s home will receive the grace of conversion, of coming back like the prodigal son. For lukewarm Christians it is a time when they can receive the grace of deepening and taking seriously their Christian life; for others still struggling with sin, the Lord grants them the strength to gain victory over their passions. Lent is indeed a season of grace, the grace of conversion, the grace of coming closer to God, the grace of victory over sin and its allurements – all leading to a renewal in spirit.

To mark the Lenten Season and assist our lay faithful to receive the many graces and to grow in holiness, the Philothea Missionaries are holding Lenten Recollections on every Saturday of Lent, at the Philothea Centre Kiserian from 9.00pm to 1.00 pm.

It is a time to come closer to God, to listen to God’s word and to be transformed by both the word and the Sacrament. Priests are available for the Sacrament Confession and spiritual direction.

Saint Joseph, a Saint to Imitate in Lent

Almost every year the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the Husband of Mary, falls during Lent. He is someone who can teach us what to do and what not to do during this season of grace.

Saint Joseph was a labourer, a family man, attentive to the voice of God and to doing God’s will, which for him was not easy. He accepted Mary into his household despite her pregnancy, knowing that he was not the father of her unborn child. He did what God asked him to do, even when that was very difficult and challenging for him. Can you imagine his emotions when he had to escape with Mary and the Child Jesus and go to Egypt in order to protect the child? Can you imagine the struggles that he endured to find a dwelling for that family in Egypt and then look for some work to feed his dear family? In everything he puts his hands on, he was very diligent, faithful and hardworking. He fulfilled his responsibilities to the best of his ability. To imitate Saint Joseph in this could be a very good thing to do during this Lent.

He was also a man of inner silence. In the Bible, we do not have even one word that Saint Joseph may have spoken but we have the stories of what he did. These are stories of a man of action who acted on the Word of God which he even heard in his dreams. It was in silence that he heard God’s word and became aware of His presence in his soul.

Saint Joseph, being a man of interior silence, prayed a lot; he was a man of prayer. He taught Jesus how to pray as was the custom of that time for the male child to be tutored by his father in the prayers and ceremonies of the Synagogue. Jesus would have attended the Sabbath services in Nazareth with Joseph and learned to pray from the example that Joseph gave him.

Consider the example of Saint Joseph as we seek to give more time to prayer in these days of Lent. Like Saint Joseph, we could learn to trust in God’s will for us. The discipline of more time at prayer brings us deeper into the love of God which will carry us through the difficult and challenging experiences of our lives as it did for Saint Joseph.