Well, the 4th day of Lent reminded me of the reality that one the reasons that the Lenten season can be a time of grace and renewal is that it is a season when we, like Jesus during his 40 days in the desert, are called to engage in spiritual warfare. And the primary ways to guard ourselves against the powers of evil, the Church has given to all of us in its threefold practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
As the morning prayer antiphon from the Feast of St. Cecilia so beautifully and powerfully reminds us:
At daybreak, Cecilia cried out: “Come soldiers of Christ, cast off the works of darkness,
and clothe yourselves in the armor of light.”In an excellent blogpost on "The Sacred Page," former Protestant pastor, current Scripture scholar and professor, and my friend Dr. John Bergsma explains the readings for the first Sunday of Lent, and shows how our practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving aid us in overcoming the 3-fold temptation to sin:
At the beginning of Lent, the Church reads to us the account of Jesus doing spiritual combat with the devil in the wilderness, reminding us that Lent is a time of warfare. Through our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we do battle with the power of the devil in our lives, and with God’s grace, defeat him decisively.The whole post is fantastic spiritual reading for this season, so I think you'll find it worthwhile to click here and check out the whole thing.
So stay strong on the journey, my friends; we are in this together!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and be assured of my prayers.
Peace and all good,
P.S. Speaking of warfare, I've sadly had to make the commenting function on my blog stricter. Someone recently posted a comment that, while somewhat senseless, was so vile that I felt the need to remove it and to require comment moderation (for a time, at least) and no more completely anonymous posting. I'm not one to always be attributing things to the forces of evil, but this comment was just that, so in addition to stepping up the fortress of comment moderation, I'm also stepping it up with the prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We will get through Lent victorious, and the light will always win. Easter is coming!!