From the Archbishop Desk
To all Priests and Religious Working in the Archdiocese of Lagos and the Lay Faithful
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
The Month of February: Welcome to the month of February, 2018 a month rich in liturgical activities and spiritual memorials. Beginning with the Feast of the Presentation (February 2), the Church calls us to re-dedicate ourselves to God, presenting our dreams, hopes and fears to Him and making sacrificial offerings of our lives in the service of the Gospel. Then with Ash Wednesday (February 14) the Church ushers all into the solemn season of Lent. The liturgical color changes to purple and the Church invites all to a life of prayer, fasting and abstinence. A FEW THOUGHTS ON LENT: May I remind all of the following regarding the season of Lent:
- Abstinence: All the faithful who have reached 14 years of age and above are required to abstain totally from meat or favorite dish or drink on Ash Wednesday (February 14) and Good Friday (March 30) and all the Fridays of Lent.
- Fasting: All the faithful between the ages of 18 and that have not reached 60 years of age are bound to fast. This practice involves limiting oneself to a single full meal or two smaller meals as the case may be. Those who are sick, pregnant or nursing or whose health would adversely be affected by fasting should not consider themselves bound by these norms.
- Parents and teachers are responsible to see that young persons, who are not bound to the above requirement, are educated in an authentic sense of penance. Also, we are called to pray fervently for those catechumens and candidates who will receive the sacraments during this period.
Below are other ways we can observe this period of Lent and benefit from the graces of the season:
i) Avoid Sin: Keep yourself away from all occasions that could lead to sin. Repent and return to God by a good sacramental confession and do appropriate penance if you fall into sin. ii. Practice self-control, be more generous especially in giving to the poor and needy and in contributing to the works of the church, remission of debts and payment of just wages. iii. Pursue and achieve reconciliation with anyone with whom you are not at peace. iv. Read the Scriptures in order to deepen your intimacy with God, spread the kingdom of Christ and help others to know and return to Christ. v. Pray before the Blessed Sacrament, go to Mass often, if possible daily. vi. Be regular at the stations of the cross on Wednesdays and Fridays and do it every day if you can. vii. Take part in the Lenten programmes and retreats that will be organized in your parish. Take full part in the Holy week ceremonies. viii. Pray your Rosary daily.
Bear in mind that all other Fridays of the year remain Days of penance in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ.
40 DAYS OF LENT WITH THE ARCHBISHOP: Join the Archbishop, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins for daily Lenten Reflections on Metro 97.7 FM at 6.00 am and 9.05pm daily. Kindly inform your parishioners and encourage them to tune in to this frequency and listen to the reflection. May the word of God nourish our souls. Amen.
ARCHDIOCESAN LENTEN PILGRIMAGE: The annual Archdiocesan Lenten Pilgrimage will be hosted by the Lekki Region. Date: Saturday 24th February, 2018 Venue: Ave Maria Grotto, Lekki. Time: begins at 8:00am. All Priests and Lay Faithful are expected to attend and participate actively in this spiritual exercise. Parish Priests & Priests-in-Charge are requested to encourage and arrange for the participation of their Parishioners to come in large numbers. In view of the above, we expect that all Parish Priests/Priests-in-Charge would have organised Confessions for the Lay Faithful in their various parishes so as to ensure that the time spent at the pilgrimage is maximally utilized.
To be continued
+ Alfred Adewale Martins
Archbishop, Metropolitan See of Lagos
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