Friday, February 16, 2007

Ash Wednesday - Next Week

Can you believe that Ash Wednesday is already next week? Easter comes early this year and preceding it is the penance time of Lent.

I thought I'd do a small presentation at our Men's Group on Saturday morning, to remind our group of the Lenten Season and how beneficial it can be to understand where this church tradition came from and what we're suppose to do during this time in the church calendar.

Below are a few links that you can brush up on before Quinquagesima Sunday.

Yeah, I know what the heck is Quinquagesima Sunday? Well read this: Quinquagesima Sunday
So let's do a little study to help us prepare for the Lenten Season:

Here's an article by James Akin of Catholic Answers "The Day of Ashes"
This website has some good material: Lent - Call to Conversion
What's the Catechism of the Catholic Church have to say?
CCC: 540
Jesus' temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him.244 This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning."245 By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.
CCC:1094, 1095
It is on this harmony of the two Testaments that the Paschal catechesis of the Lord is built,15 and then, that of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church. This catechesis unveils what lay hidden under the letter of the Old Testament: the mystery of Christ. It is called "typological" because it reveals the newness of Christ on the basis of the "figures" (types) which announce him in the deeds, words, and symbols of the first covenant. By this re-reading in the Spirit of Truth, starting from Christ, the figures are unveiled.16 Thus the flood and Noah's ark prefigured salvation by Baptism,17 as did the cloud and the crossing of the Red Sea. Water from the rock was the figure of the spiritual gifts of Christ, and manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist, "the true bread from heaven."
For this reason the Church, especially during Advent and Lent and above all at the Easter Vigil, re-reads and re-lives the great events of salvation history in the "today" of her liturgy. But this also demands that catechesis help the faithful to open themselves to this spiritual understanding of the economy of salvation as the Church's liturgy reveals it and enables us to live it.
The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice.36 These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).

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