“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie                                                                                                                                                 "Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God" - Saint Ignatius of Loyola


The Lenten Evening was given last Wednesday by Father David Howell in the beautiful Lady Chapel of St James's Spanish Place, to many members of the Order and Companions.

The evening began, with sung Vespers of the Little Office, and Father Howell then spoke on what Saint John the Baptist offers us for Lent by way of guidance in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. He spoke of Fraternal Correction as a form of Almsgiving, which links in with the Order's understanding of the inseparable nature of Tuitio Fidei and Obsequium Pauperum. John the Baptist listened to God's call and to the voice of Jesus which gave him joy, even during his imprisonment when his faith was wavering. He fasted as a way to hunger for the Messiah before he came and he gave alms (charity) in a refined way: by gently correcting Herod, so gently that Herod was even "glad to listen to him" afterwards, and by pointing out Jesus to others by his preaching and the example of his sufferings which foreshadowed the Passion of the Lord. The evening closed with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

We are very grateful to Father Howell for his insights, and hope in due course to be able to bring our readers a further mediation on this subject.  He spoke from notes on the evening, so we do not have a transcript.

St John the Baptist, pray for us.