In his Lenten pastoral letter Bishop Thomas advocates the use of prayer, fasting and alms-giving as a way to set self aside and re-direct our minds to God.
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Posted: 26 Feb 2012
Parishioners across Essex and East London listened to a Lenten pastoral letter from Bishop Thomas this weekend. Drawing on the words of St Paul to the Corinthians, the Bishop called on Christians to put self aside and say an unequivocal ‘Yes’ to God.
"Lent is a time when we not only try to improve our lives but we also clarify our vision," he said. He advocates the use of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as a useful structure for Lenten renewal.
“Decide on a definite time and place where you can pray each day, however long or short, and don’t just fill the time with words ~ silence is a powerful way in which God speaks to us,” he says.
Fasting from unnecessary food, says the Bishop, “will enable us to give to charities like Cafod and express some solidarity with a vast number of our brothers and sisters who have little or no food”.
He also urges Christians to give alms as a way of sharing the gifts they have, “whether in the form of money to those in need; visiting or helping others through our time and friendship; or giving service to those around us in these straitened times."
He concludes: “Whatever we undertake in Lent, we are challenging our sinfulness and expanding our ability to say “Yes” to God.”
Read the full pastoral letter here.
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