At our Pastoral Council meetings, we always devote time for a reflection and member volunteers to lead the reflection on any issue they choose.

The reflections vary and are most inspiring and occasionally I find myself asking the member for permission to share their thoughts.
That was the situation last week when Fionnuala shared her reflection on the great question “Why” which parents hear from their children on an almost daily basis.
“Why do I have to get up?
Why do I have to wear my uniform?
Why do I have to go to school?
Why do I have to do my homework?
Why do I have to go to bed?
Why do I have to go to Mass?
Why can’t I go to the disco?
Why do I have to tidy my room?
Why can’t I drink? My friends do.
Why is there so much sickness?
Why is there so much evil in the world?
Why is our health system so bad?
Why is there no appreciation for life?
Why do they feel the need to introduce abortion?
Why do we have to be so politically correct about everything we do?”
The list could go on and on and I am sure there is plenty you could add. There is a song which states, “There are more questions than answers, and the more I find out the less I know”.
I know as a young person I had a very inquisitive mind but as I go through life now I am more content with myself about the need to know everything. In fact, I am very happy to accept that I don’t need to know everything!
Next Wednesday, 14th February, is both St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. These dates rarely clash but it does happen a few times in our life.
The date for Easter is set as the first Sunday following the first full moon occurring after the 21st March, the spring equinox, so you then have to count backwards to get the date for Ash Wednesday.
I do know some people who have decided to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day on Tuesday 13th February so that they can start their Lenten challenge on Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday and Lent give us the opportunity to connect with our inner self through prayer, penance and self-denial and, in the process, to get some of the answers to our questions why.

Lent in Shannon

Morning Prayer 7.20am (for 20 mins) Adoration Chapel (Mon-Fri)
Daily Masses 9.30am Mary Immaculate Church
10 am Adoration Chapel
1.05pm Adoration Chapel
7 pm SS John & Paul Church
Lectio Divina Weds after 9.30am Mass Jubilee Chapel, Mary Immaculate Church
Stations of the Cross Friday after 9.30am Mass Mary Immaculate Church
Friday after 7 pm Mass SS John & Paul Church