Father’s Column 2/19/2017

Posted on February 19, 2017

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!

It is hard to believe, but Lent is nearly a week away. Please remember that the rules of Fast and Abstinence apply on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Every Friday is an obligatory abstinence from meat. The regulations will be in next week’s bulletin. These are only the minimum; more can always be done. Every day of Lent was at one time a Fast Day, and Wednesdays have also been traditionally seen as days to abstain from meat. Please be thinking about your Lenten Penances, and how you can
appropriately join yourself to the Cross of the Savior. Please find a reflection from St. Leo the Great as we prepare for the great Lenten Fast. Have a blessed week ahead!

“We know indeed, dearly-beloved, your devotion to be so warm that in the fasting, which is the forerunner of the Lord’s Easter, many of you will have forestalled our exhortations. But because the right practice of abstinence is needful not only to the mortification of the flesh but also to the purification of the mind, we desire your observance to be so complete that, as you cut down the pleasures that belong to the lusts of the flesh, so you should banish the errors that proceed from the imaginations of the heart. For he whose heart is polluted with no misbelief prepares himself with true and reasonable purification for the Paschal Feast, in which all the mysteries of our religion meet together. For, as the Apostle says, that all that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23), the fasting of those will be unprofitable and vain, whom the father of lying deceives with his delusions, and who are not fed by Christ’s true flesh. As then we must with the whole heart obey the Divine commands and sound doctrine, so we must use all foresight in abstaining from wicked imaginations. For the mind then only keeps holy and spiritual fast when it rejects the food of error and the poison of falsehood, which our crafty and wily foe plies us with more treacherously now, when by the very return of the venerable Festival, the whole church generally is admonished to understand the mysteries of its salvation. For he is the true confessor and worshipper of Christ’s resurrection, who is not confused about His passion, nor deceived about His bodily nativity. For some are so ashamed of the Gospel of the Cross of Christ, as to impudently nullify the punishment which He underwent for the world’s redemption, and have denied the very nature of true flesh in the Lord, not understanding how the impassible and unchangeable Deity of God’s Word could have so far condescended for man’s salvation, as by His power not to lose His own properties, and in His mercy to take on Him ours. And so in Christ, there is a twofold form but one person, and the Son of God, who is at the same time Son of Man, is one Lord, accepting the condition of a slave by the design of loving-kindness, not by the law of necessity, because by His power He became humble, by His power passible, by His power mortal; that for the destruction of the tyranny of sin and death, the weak nature in Him might be capable of punishment, and the strong nature not lose anything of its glory.” – St. Leo the Great

 

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