We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you,
because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
One of the most startling things about the Gospel according to St John is its attention to small details. John gives by far the most accurate descriptions of time and place in any of the four canonical accounts of the life and death of Jesus. Much of our speculative chronology for his life is derived from John’s obsession with recording the passing of the Jewish fasts and festivals, and Jesus’ strict observance of them. And he frequently includes in his narrative those close observations which the other three Evangelists are unaware of, or choose to omit.
'Union with Christ, then, belongs to those who have undergone all that the saviour has undergone…he who seeks to be united with him must therefore share with him in his flesh, partake of deification, and share in His death and resurrection.' St Nicholas Kabasilas, The Life in Christ 
It is a well-known fact that Anglo-catholics love parties. Many of us make all sorts of weird and wonderful commitments for Lent, no doubt inspired by sound Tractarian piety, sacrificing those things on which we gorge ourselves when nobody is looking, or indeed when they are, setting aside some of the luxuries of this life, to focus on
‘Jacob said: 'I will not let you go, unless you bless me.'
…then [he] asked him, 'Please tell me your name?'
But [the man] said, 'Why is it that you ask my name?'
And there he blessed him.’
Gen 32.26, 29
The Christian story is unique because it is just that – a story. It is narrative, script, folktale; history, poetry and song, wisdom, apocalyptic visions, and law; it is instruction, admonishment, consolation, letters to friends, memoirs for a distant people…