Rev. Peter Conley, Assistant Catholic Chaplain, reflects on Lent.
“You’ll never walk alone” is such a fitting epitaph for Captain Sir Tom. His brave ‘little step’ initiative for the NHS remains a giant, joy-filled leap for us to benefit from in the future. The simplicity of his visionary witness was hewn out of the bedrock of a conviction that: “Tomorrow will be a Good Day” - if only everyone contributes to building up a culture of encouragement. And how much we need that right now.
The Church is approaching the Season of Lent coming from within the Christmas Bethlehem star-lit gaze. Whether we are Christians or people of other faiths or no particular faith, Lent is about reflecting on ways in which we can focus on caring for others on campus and beyond. To be people who concentrate on being hopeful, and peaceful and reconciliatory. It is an opportunity to think more simply, celebrate the gifts we have ourselves and recognise those in others who surround us - and let them know about them. Being more conscious of how important basic acts of kindness and thoughtfulness are towards family and friends or fellow students or staff. Sometimes, we can take this capacity that we all have naturally for granted. But, tiny acorns of hope grow into trees of lasting joy. Lent is a time to think about whether our conversations are aimed at using words that are about uplifting and pausing before making snap judgments. It’s from a word meaning ‘Spring’. We often think of tidying up, don’t we, when we speak about ‘Spring Cleaning’. So, Lent is about reviewing what’s important in life and what is not. I found this sign when sorting out my own room:
Live Simply, Laugh Often and Love Much.