By Fr, Bernard Basset, S.J.
fT is not necessary to pretend that A we like Lent. We all need it and progress is made by those who recognise the fact. The ceremony of the Ashes. ruthless in its repetitions, must be for us a voluntaty act. We approach the altar freely because we want this vivid reminder of our end. The second prayer over the ashes rightly stresses our freedom. asking God of His goodness to bless these ashes " which we intend to put upon our heads in token of humility and that we may obtain pardon."
The Grail Lenten Programme
THE Passion Play performed at the Albert Hall last Eastes began and ended with the song. " Were you there when they crucified. Lord ? " The same song will ntroduce the Passion Play this year. During Lent the actors will prevere themselves spiritually for the performance by answering the questions suggested in the song. Readers of this column may like to join with them. Short passages from the Gospels are suggested for daily reading and these are taken from the Lenten Masses.
Ash Wednesday, Feb. 27th-Saturday, Mar. 8th
WERE you there when His friends left Him alone? We may think that the apostles were weak leaving Christ alone in His need. but are we any braver? We often do not help people because of fear --we are afraid to get ourselves involved. afraid of being told to mind our own business. of seeming to interfere. This week to comfort Christ, if you see anyone who is worried or needs help. take the risk and ask if you can do anything for them. Gospel Reading. Ash Wednesday. Matt. 6; 16-21. Thursday, Matt. 8; 5-13. Friday, Matt. 5; 43-48, 6; 1-4. Saturday. Mark 6; 47-56.
The Lenten Competitions
" ALL SORTS " may claim a share
in the Lenten competitions arid their inception, though they have now been moved to an independent position. For the first lime a competition will run for some weeks and it is therefore necessary to be ready for the first. No competitor may start later on. Many readers in the past have suggested a weekly competition. but the task of correcting would put too great a strain on the staff. The effort is being made for 1,ent, so make sure to use the chance.
The Bellarmine Society
wE have to thank the Bellarmine Society for setting the weekly quiz. The name of this Society is familiar to all, for it appears on those excellent leaflets which treat of Catholic dogma. The Bellarmine Society began life as The Catholic Action Society at the old Jesuit seminary at St. Beuno's, St. Asaph's, North Wales, The theological students with their professors hit on the excellent idea of using their opportunities to assist those who lacked time and facilities for research. 1 think I sin right in saving that the Catholic Action Society began as far back as 1919.
THE Jesuit theologate moved to • Heythrop College in 1926. The
Catholic Action Society became the Bellarmine Society. In all these thirty years it has supplied secret but most valuable service under three headings. One section of the Society deals with private enquiries about the faith and even conducts postal courses. Another section publishes the famous leaflets, now sixty-three of them, while a third section assists those who are involved in controversies in the Press. Students and professors undertake this gigantic task in their free time.
THERE is no room for a tailpiece ▪ this week. I have an appeal from a group who hope to start a youth club and would like to buy a table tennis set, boxing gloves, draughts. even fencing equipment secondhand. The need is urgent, to please write to me if you would like to help. Another appeal comes from a South African who hopes to start in London a small repository and " Open Door." He wants helpers. If you are interested please write to me at Loyola Flail, Rainhill, Nr. Liverpool.