Last year's post on Lent:
And for a more in-depth understanding of the season:
|The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Bouguereau|
I'm pretty sure I speak for most of the Catholics I know when I say that our souls are craving Lent this year. I confess that I do not always look forward to the austerity that comes with the penitential season. But this year… whoa, boy. This year is different. Don't you all feel it? We've been soft and weak for too long. It's time to get serious about sacrifice, and it's time to dive headlong into prayer, almsgiving, fasting, reparation -- and into the precious wounds of Our Crucified Lord.
So much of our deep need for Lent this time around comes from what we see playing out on the political stage, watching the nation we love slip further and further away from her Judeo-Christian foundations while government leaders -- at all levels and with growing speed and disrespect -- attempt to push our beloved Church and her good works to the margins of society. It's okay. We've been waaaaaay too comfortable. Christianity is not about comfort and convenience, it's about truth, goodness and beauty. And it's about sacrificial love. In fact, true love (caritas/agape) and sacrifice (an offering of something dear) are inseparable. Gaze upon a crucifix. What do you see? The enormity of a Love that sacrifices all.
In the spirit of the season and of not wanting to blur the line between the sacred and the profane, I will lay off the political blogging for these forty days. Ultimately, politics and governments are temporal. They are passing away. In the end, they are not important.
Jesus' words to us are important:
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. -- Matthew 7:13-14Debating politics and fighting the culture war are honorable endeavors, but they alone will not make us holy. The Lord wants a contrite heart. So for the duration of the Lenten season, I will try to write about spiritual things, things of the Faith, things that bring people -- all people -- closer to the heart of the eternal God who made and loves them.
For the next forty days, let's get to the only thing that matters: Holiness.
My soul is craving it.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come unto Thee,
That with all Thy saints,
I may praise Thee
Forever and ever.