Editorial by the Rev. Fr. Sebastian Wall, Prior of St. Andrew's House, Carluke, Scotland
Last month we looked at the beginning of Shrovetide. Well, this month, it comes to an end with Shrove Tuesday (or Fastern’s e’en as it was called here). Many will be getting out the ‘girdle’ to prepare a sooty bannock or perhaps just normal pancakes before Lent begins in earnest on the 6th. I say in earnest, though obviously a consequence of the Council has meant that officially very little is actually required to comply with Canon Law. Nonetheless, I would like to pass on what Archbishop Lefebvre wrote almost forty years ago to encourage our generous faithful here in Scotland to go far beyond what is merely ‘required’.
“There are three purposes for which the Church has prescribed this penitential time:
- first, in order to curb the concupiscence of the flesh;
- then, to facilitate the elevation of our souls toward divine realities;
- finally, to make satisfaction for our sins.
“Our Lord gave us the example during His life here on earth: pray and do penance. However, Our Lord, being free from concupiscence and sin, did penance and made satisfaction for our sins, thus showing us that our penance may be beneficial not only for ourselves but also for others.
“Pray and do penance. Do penance in order to pray better, in order to draw closer to Almighty God. This is what all the saints have done, and this is that of which all the messages of the Blessed Virgin remind us.
“Would we dare to say that this necessity is less important in our day and age than in former times? On the contrary, we can and we must affirm that today, more than ever before, prayer and penance are necessary because eve- rything possible has been done to diminish and denigrate these two fundamental elements of Christian life”.
Last month saw the baptism of a new parishioner in Edinburgh, Archie McQuater, at the age of 90! Now, he’s preparing for his first Holy Communion and Confirmation. God’s graces are truly marvellous.
With every good wish and blessing,
Rev. Sebastian Wall (Prior)