We’ll be coming up to Lent soon, that forty-day period still observed by the Catholics and Anglicans when a sense that we need to change the pace of life and reflect more on who we are, spiritually, and where we’re going. I was brought up as a Catholic, in the days when things were rather tougher, especially in Lent. While there was no definite rule about what you should give up during the time, you were made to feel that if it wasn’t something very particular you might as well be damned from that point on. Things have gone to the other extreme now, and I suspect many Catholics and Anglicans barely notice that Lent is passing.
I was reminded about this in regard to the following quote, which I picked out the Star Weekender – it was published on the 24th Feb, 1985, and was attributed to the Rev Dean Robert Mills, then Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, in Dunedin. Lent must have been early that year.
"Have you been dieting since Wednesday, or walking to work instead of taking the car? Maybe you’ve stopped buying Golden Kiwi tickets. These little forms of self-denial are often practised by people over Lent."