First Sunday of Lent: Weapons of Penance,Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving
At the root of every sin there is always a lie, in the same way as at the root of authentic liberation there is always the truth
Let us ask for clear knowledge of our limits and our sins, the humility to know that always the tempter, that didn't even spare the Lord Jesus, traps us with his lies that are always the same from the Garden of Eden to the end of time: 'You will be like God' (Gen 3:5).
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - We are pleased to be able to present to our readers around the world the commentary sent from the Congregation for the Clergy to all of the priests in the world on this the First Sunday of Lent:
The Weapons of Penance: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving
At the beginning of Lent, the great journey of conversion, the Church gives us the 'weapons of penance' which are fasting, prayer and almsgiving. These 'weapons' are not meant to be merely exterior practices, but as a reflection in the works of our interior conversion, to radically trust ourselves to the mercy, goodness and providence of God. We are lead, as if by hand, and even the chronological secession of the readings seams to sustain the steps towards the journey of liberation.
The first reading, that recounts the story of the 'original sin', indicates the point from which everything departs. We know well that the expression 'original sin' means the disobedience of the first men towards God, from which, in a way we can not fully comprehend, comes the initial situation of our 'non-salvation' and so every man is born with the tendency to sin which he carries within himself.
Beyond its initial meaning, this reading also indicates the sin which is at the root of all others: pride. Pride is the consideration that we are self sufficient, independent of any attachment, keeping our lives for ourselves, without opening ourselves to the work that He who created us has entrusted to us. After rebirth in Holy Baptism that inclination to sin lingers on like a wound.
In Psalm 50, the prayer in which man turns to God saying, 'Against you, you alone I have sinned, what is evil in your sight I have done' (Ps 50: 6), is the first step of fundamental importance that Divine Grace allows us to make: the recognition of our sins. Humbly, without searching for justification, recognising our sins, represents the start of liberation because it makes truth and, consequently, man belongs no more to sin but to Truth: 'you will learn the truth and the truth will set you free'. (Jn 8:32)
Let us ask for clear knowledge of our limits and our sins, the humility to know that always the tempter, that didn't even spare the Lord Jesus, traps us with his lies that are always the same from the Garden of Eden to the end of time: 'You will be like God' (Gen 3:5). At the root of every sin there is always a lie, in the same way as at the root of authentic liberation there is always the truth. May this 'strong' time in the Liturgical Year be the triumph of the truth. It will also be the triumph of freedom and victory over death that we will celebrate at Easter.
Gn 2,7-9: http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9ak0pnb.htm
Gn 3,1-7: http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9abstdc.htm
Rm 5,12-19: http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9astc2e.htm
Mt 4,1-11: http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9abtnfd.htm
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace: That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
- 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
- Good Friday Reflection on the Nature of Sin
- Lent is almost over, but have YOU kept this Commandment?
- 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
- Holy Thursday: Take Up the Basin and Towel. Love is a Verb.
- Holy Thursday: He Loves to the End
- 2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Precious and Life-Giving Cross of Christ
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
This Sorrowful pilgrimage now brings me here to this lonely hill. All the agony, the beatings and the bleeding have led me somewhere I do not want to go; somewhere I resist going with all my ...Continue Reading
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
I wonder if perhaps it was tempting for Jesus to just lie down on the dirt road and die right there. Completely sapped of strength and in agonizing pain, I wonder if He was tempted by the ...Continue Reading
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
Humiliation, in one form or another, is part of the package. It is only avoidable if we decide to deny Christ. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning ...Continue Reading
Michael Terheyden - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
The Passion of Christ represents the most atrocious miscarriage of justice in all of human history. So when we come face to face with the crucified Christ on Good Friday, it is only natural for us to ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »