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THIS MONTH WE celebrate the 100th edition of Aurora, the
magazine of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. We also
celebrate the fact that from this edition, Aurora will be inser ted into
The Newcastle Herald and Maitland Mercur y on the first Tuesday of
ever y month. On Thursday Aurora will appear in the Scone Advocate
and on Friday in the Singleton Argus, Muswellbrook Chronicle and
Manning River Times.
I expect that Aurora will contain articles which give a Catholic
perspective to local and global issues and events. It is my hope
that Aurora will provide a real connection between life issues and
faith, and that readers will be encouraged to think, reflect and act
on what is happening around them and beyond.
Coinciding with this 100th edition of Aurora is the Christian season
of Lent, a time of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. However, many
see the expectations of this season in a negative light. The reality
of the Lenten discipline runs counter to our western consumerist
mindset. Interestingly though, discipline for the sake of losing
weight and improving body image is not a foreign concept in
Through the media we are constantly encouraged to eat healthily,
exercise regularly and generally look after ourselves. Buy this piece
of exercise equipment or DVD exercise routine, drink this par ticular
shake, follow this special food program and you will have the body
of your life!
The television program, The Biggest Loser gives us an insight
into the lengths people are prepared to go to lose weight. All this
exercise, all these food programs require discipline in order to
achieve the desired result.
The Quit for Life and Dry July programs also call for discipline and
willpower for the sake of one’s health. Another initiative which
requires discipline is FebFast. This just concluded campaign
encourages par ticipants to give up alcohol for the month of
Februar y. “Imagine what 28 alcohol-free days can do for your
waistline, your wallet and your liver!” say the organisers.
But there is more to FebFast than personal gain. According to the
campaign website, by signing up to FebFast you can give your body
a break but also help others by raising funds to support much
needed programs for young people with alcohol and other drug
While all these campaigns have much to offer, the 40-day
discipline of Lent beginning on March 9, offers us much more. Lent
encourages us to fast, to help others, and to pray and reflect.
Each year Caritas Australia, the Church’s international aid and
development agency, offers us Project Compassion, an ideal
tool for our Lenten obser vance. This program provides us with
oppor tunities to pray, to fast and to reach out to the disadvantaged
throughout the world.
Approached in the right spirit, Lent gives us an opportunity to focus
on what is impor tant in life so that we might find our true selves
and reach out to others. Lent leads us to know what God is calling
us to be and prepares us for our journey as Easter people.
I hope you find this new-look Aurora interesting and insightful and
that together we can approach this season of Lent with a new
understanding and commitment.
A time to
Focus on what is
important in life so
that we might find our
true selves and reach
out to others.
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