From the Rector



To the Salesian College Family,

As you would be aware, the Church’s Season of Lent is with us once again; although many of us would have missed out on Ash Wednesday – the official start of Lent – due to the recent lockdown in Victoria.

As you would also know, Lent has always been associated with a period of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, of self-denial, renewal of faith, and openness to acts of charity and loving kindness. As such, it has always been regarded as an opportunity for spiritual growth, conversion back to God, and a change of heart and lifestyle.

Recently, I came across an article from the Brazilian Salesian Bulletin which summarised ten key phrases of Pope Francis on the meaning of Lent. I found them very helpful and I hope you will too:

1. Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us.
2. Fasting, experienced as a form of self-denial, helps those who undertake it in simplicity of heart to rediscover God’s gift and to recognize that, created in His image and likeness, we find our fulfilment in Him.
3. Living a Lent with hope means feeling that, in Jesus Christ, we are witnesses of the new time, in which God “makes all things new” (cf. Rev 21,1-6).
4. In this life we will always have things to do and we will have excuses to offer, but right now, brothers and sisters, today is the time to return to God.
5. Lent is a journey that involves our whole life, our entire being. It is a time to reconsider the roads we are taking, to find the way back home, to rediscover the fundamental bond with God, on which everything depends.
6. Our journey back to God is hindered by our unhealthy attachments, held back by the seductive snares of our sins, by the false security of money and appearances, by the paralysis of our discontents. In order to walk, one must unmask these illusions.
7. Lent is a humble descent within us and towards others.
8. The ash on the head reminds us that we are dust and to dust we will return. But on this dust of ours, God blew His Spirit of life.
9. Our return journey to God is possible only because there was His outward journey towards us. Otherwise, it would not have been possible. Before we went to Him, He came down to us.
10. The Father who calls us to return is the One who leaves the house to come looking for us; the Lord who heals us is the One who let himself be wounded on the cross; the Spirit who makes us change our lives is the One who blows with strength and sweetness on our dust.

With you on the Journey of Lent,

Fr Greg Chambers