It is Lent, a penitential season for many of us – a time to reflect on what our faith means to us, to assess our spiritual journey, to try harder, whilst remembering that without God’s Grace we can do nothing, and to prepare ourselves for Easter.

In that spirit, as readers of the comments boxes will have seen, we are going to try to give up asperity for Lent – that is the blog’s collective sacrifice for Lent. because we welcome all here, there are times, and themes, which encourage a certain amount of controversy. We are going to see whether we can avoid that for the next six weeks, and, instead, encourage each other to see the image of Christ in each of us. There is not one of us without sin, and we all partake of a tendency to make up for that by pointing out the sins of others. We shall try, harder, to recall our own sinfulness, and to practice that forgiveness which God extends to all who truly repent.

God told Ezekiel to go through the streets of Jerusalem ‘and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof’. Today, many of us were marked with the sign of the cross, and we might pray that the mark indelibly sealed on us in our baptism, might be engraved more deeply on our hearts. May our penance help wash away the stain of sin.

Whatever our church, let us pray for each other, that we may come to understand each other more clearly, and all draw closer to Christ.