Feast Days

Wednesday 14th February, Ash Wednesday. Day of Fast and Abstinence. In the readings on this day there is a great consciousness of our sinfulness, as we pray ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.’ There is also a sense that the time to repent and turn back is now. The Gospel tells us how to approach that renewal of our lives. It puts before us the remedy in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These three strands of Lenten observance are as ancient as Christianity itself. There is no substitute for them. “Fasting is the soul of prayer; mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. If we have not all three together, we have nothing,” says St. Pete Chrysologus.

Friday 16th February. Day of Prayer for Victims of Abuse. This day was instituted by the Irish Episcopal Conference and the following prayer is inscribed on the healing stone unveiled at the 50 International Eucharistic Congress in 2012 in Dublin, which now has a permanent home in Lough Derg. “Lord, we are sorry for what some of us did to your children: treated them so cruelly, especially in their hour of need. We have left them with a lifelong suffering. This was not your plan for them or us. Please help us to help them. Guide us, Lord, Amen.