There may be some outside our walls who imagine that we waft around on a cloud of prayer all day and do little else, but those who know us better will be aware that life ‘inside’ can be fairly rigorous and certainly relentless. I can remember in my very early years here going to the Abbess before one Lent and saying, “I’m not sure what else there is to ‘give up’”! That’s how it felt then and was an expression of my inexperienced understanding of what Lent was all about. To regard Lent as primarily about self-denial and giving up is to lose the centrality of the Easter focus which permeates our whole life in community.

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