Meme by John the BlunderWorker
The Great Fast is a time for change. We try to spend more time focused on how to please God and others. When things take us away from God, we can sin. We need to confess our sins to God and change the things that lead us to sin. This is called “repentance.”
In the Liturgy we pray “that the rest of our lives may be spent in peace and repentance.” We do that by learning more about the ways of God and then putting them into practice in our lives.
When we think about God’s Commandments we are on the first step to repentance. When we were baptized the priest asked us to renounce Satan and his sinful ways. We promised to serve Christ the Son of God in faith and in truth. When we forget these promises, we sin. But the Lord never forgets His promise to us: “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”
If we have fallen into sin we can repent and God will raise us up because He is always with us.
QUICK FACTS &THOUGHTS:
• In the Ten Commandments which God gave through Moses the first three concern life with God. Find them in your Bible or prayerbook.
• Do you honor God by praying to Him every day? By not using His name as a swear word? By sharing in the Liturgy every Sunday?
• The rest of the Commandments teach us to respect others. What are these Commandments? • How do you treat your parents? Are you violent with others? Do you take what belongs to others? Do you envy them for what they have?
• In the New Commandment which God gave through Christ we are called to love one another as God loves us. What do you do to show that you love God? That you love others?
• Prepare to go to Confession by loving God and others more during the Great Fast.
(Living with Christ Great Lent at Home)
Jesus takes them up Mount Tabor, “to show them the full truth about himself, about his divinity, so that they can have hope in eternal life and they remember this experience of divinity, of bliss, of eternity, when it comes time to suffer through the passion. In considering this scene at Tabor, we try to go to Jesus, to look at him, so that we may be enlightened. So that whether we are ill, suffering or dying– or sick and tired– we actually try to discover the Tabors behind the Calvaries” (Fr Javier del Castillo).
This gospel reading is reading twice per year: today on the second Sunday of Lent and in August on the feast of the Transfiguration. Do we recognize that Jesus is the center of our life of faith? Do we recognize that the death and resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate gift given to us that is foretold with this great of event personally experienced by Peter, James and John?
Detail of Raffaella’s “Transfiguration.”
Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent. On this day, the observance of fast and abstinence begins. Pope St. Leo teaches that the main purpose for fasting is not that the body be deprived of food, but that the mind at the same time be withdrawn from wickedness, we should endeavor during Lent, not only to be temperate in eating and drinking, but especially to lead a modest life, sanctifying the days by persevering prayer and devoutly attending the Church’s liturgy.
These thoughts of an esteemed theologian, Olivier Clement seem worth sharing on season of Lent:
“Asceticism can only be understood in the perspective of the resurrected, liturgical body. Asceticism signifies the effort to strip away our masks, those neurotic identities that usurp our personal vocation. It is an effort based not on will-power, but on a ceaseless abandonment of oneself to grace…. Asceticism is the struggle, the self-abandonment of openness and faith, which allows the Spirit to transform the anonymous body of our species into a body of ‘language’ that expresses both the person and communion among persons. Thanks to this ascetic struggle, we are gradually transformed from an acquisitive body, that treats the world as its prey, into a body of celebration, that unites itself to the ecclesial liturgy and thereby to the cosmic liturgy.”
Olivier Clement (1921-2009) was a French Eastern Orthodox theologian 1921-2009. He was a Professor at St.Serge in Paris and the author of many books and articles and was the editor of the magazine Contacts.