Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
cna ^ | March 9, 2011

Posted on 03/09/2011 11:22:47 AM PST by NYer


Pope Benedict XVI walks in procession towards the Basilica of Saint Sabina at the Aventine to celebrate the Ash Wednesday mass in Rome, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. The basilica is the stational church for Ash Wednesday.

Vatican City, Mar 9, 2011 / 12:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During today’s general audience, Pope Benedict XVI invited the faithful make the “Lenten journey” together with Christ, to return to the grace and commitment of conversion, and reach Easter “renewed.”

More than 7,000 pilgrims and faithful were on hand at the Vatican's Paul VI Hall during the March 9 general audience. The gathering coincided with Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent.

The “austere symbol of the ashes” are the beginning of the spiritual path that leads to Easter, said the Pope. They are “a sign reminding us of our status as created beings and inviting us to penance, to intensify our commitment to conversion so as to continue following the Lord.”

At Ash Wednesday Masses all over the world, priests mark the beginning of Lent by making a sign of the cross with ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a physical symbol of repentance and the temporary nature of earthly life.

“Lent is a journey,” said Pope Benedict. “It means accompanying Jesus as he travels to Jerusalem, the place where the mystery of his passion, death and resurrection is to be fulfilled.”

The season is a reminder to Christians of "the road to be traveled, consisting not so much in a law to be observed as in the person of Christ himself, who must be encountered, welcomed and followed."

This is experienced most of all through the liturgy in which believers are drawn closer to the figure of Christ by reliving the very events that granted man his salvation, he explained.

"Participating in the liturgy means then emerging our lives in the mystery of Christ, in his permanent presence, walking a path in which we enter into his death and resurrection to have life."

Pope Benedict explained that the liturgical readings of the Sundays of Lent—which were used in ancient times to prepare Christians for baptism—offer an opportunity for the faithful to return to the foundation of Christian life in a "baptismal itinerary."

"They are the great announcement of what God carries out in this Sacrament, a stupendous baptismal catechesis directed at each of us," he said.

Pope Benedict then walked through the successive readings for the Sundays of Lent.

The first Sunday's liturgy describes the temptation of Jesus in the desert, through which all Christians are invited "to renew our definitive choice for God, and courageously to face the struggle that awaits us in remaining faithful to Him," he said.

On the second Sunday, the "Sunday of Abraham," the faithful are invited to "abandon the certainties we have constructed and place our faith in God," said the Pope.

The three following Sundays present baptism as water, light and life, he explained. The Samaritan woman serves as a reminder that "we too received the water that saves."

Jesus gives the blind man sight, which shows that through Baptism man is liberated and receives the light of Christ.

And finally, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead on the final Sunday before Easter teaches about life. "In Baptism," explained the Pope, "we pass from death to life and become capable of pleasing God, of causing the 'old man' to die so as to live in the spirit of the Risen One."

The Lenten experience is deepened through fasting, almsgiving and prayer, and the period invites "a more trusting and intense prayer" and greater meditation on Scripture, he said.

"On this Lenten journey, let us be attentive to welcoming Christ's invitation to follow him more decisively and coherently, renewing the grace and commitments of our Baptism, so as to ... clothe ourselves in Christ, thus reaching Easter renewed and being able to say with St. Paul 'it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me'."


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/09/2011 11:22:49 AM PST by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...


Joel
Chapter 2
12
Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
13
Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.
14
Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your God.
15
Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly;
16
Gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room, and the bride her chamber.
17
1 Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep, And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"
18
Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.


Matthew
Chapter 6
1
1 "(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
2
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites 2 do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
4
so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
5
"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
16
"When you fast, 12 do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18
so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.

2 posted on 03/09/2011 11:33:09 AM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All


2 Corinthians
Chapter 5
20
So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21
13 For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians
Chapter 6
1
1 2 Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
2
For he says: "In an acceptable time 3 I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you." Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

3 posted on 03/09/2011 11:39:14 AM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

Santa Sabina, Rome

Station Churches

Day I - Ash Wednesday
Remember, O man, you are dust and unto dust you shall return” (Prayer for the Deposition of Ashes). 

  From as early as the third century, the Church of Rome observed the season of Lent by journey each day to a "Station Church" or one of the ancient and prominent churches of Rome.  Here the Bishop of Rome, the Holy Father, would lead the people in prayer.  It is a symbol of unity as well as a pilgrimage of faith.  Unfortunately, the custom ceased during the Avignon papacy in 1305 but interest was revived by Saint Leo XIII at the turn of the 20th century.  Blessed John XXIII fully was restored the custom in 1959.

Today, from the earliest times, the Mass is celebrated in the Church of Santa Sabina, "The gem of the Aventine", and home of the Dominicans.  Santa Sabina was one of a group of martyrs who shed her blood for our faith during the Vesparian persecutions (69-79).  At 5:00 in the evening on Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father will come here to participate at an Ecumenical penance service where he will receive ashes.

4 posted on 03/09/2011 11:44:47 AM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
2 Cor. 5:19: 'To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR SINS UNTO THEM; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

You left out an important verse. Without that verse, we do not know that our sins are not being imputed to us by God, through Christ.

And we just work and suffer, and work and suffer, and work and suffer, trying to justify ourselves before God.

5 posted on 03/09/2011 11:51:09 AM PST by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NYer

That was today’s reading in our “Little Black Book” for Lent. I am extremely pleased to say attendance has been so good that all the “Little Black Books” we had for Lent this year were gone by Saturday night. If Hubby hadn’t been kind enough to pick one up for me when he attended Saturday evening, I wouldn’t have the pleasure of my daily readings this Lent. Whew! I look forward to my daily devotions. I am, however, thrilled to say our attendance is growing as are our Bible Studies on the Book of Revelation starting next week. It’s a good time at Ste. Gen’s. She’d be happy.


6 posted on 03/09/2011 11:55:50 AM PST by Constitutions Grandchild
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Oh, and did I mention a large number of the youth of St. Louis forming “The Friars Club”. It’s a group of 20-somethings that get together and make the rounds of all the Fish Fries at the various Parishes. The food is great (some of gourmet quality) and the young people enjoy the family atmosphere and the O U T S T A N D I N G food at a reasonable price. I guess it’s the American version of the Lenten Road and “Station” Churches.


7 posted on 03/09/2011 11:59:20 AM PST by Constitutions Grandchild
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: smvoice
You left out an important verse.

Those are the verses chosen for Ash Wednesday. Nothing was left out.

8 posted on 03/09/2011 12:03:41 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NYer
I know. Verse 19 is the one that tells us HOW reconciliation to God happens. ANd how, because of this, we are now ambassadors for Christ.

Somehow, it seems IMPORTANT that it would be included. If one were searching for reconciliation with God.

9 posted on 03/09/2011 12:06:27 PM PST by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: smvoice
If one were searching for reconciliation with God.

Searching? Why should we search for it? We know where it is: reconciliation with God, through Christ, according to the pattern he himself laid out in John 20:22, is available to every Catholic at the nearest confessional.

10 posted on 03/09/2011 12:38:52 PM PST by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Campion
Why search, indeed. Although if you SEARCH, I believe you are referring to John 20:23, NOT John 20:22, if you are talking about the 'nearest confessional".

So reconciliation is made through the remittance or retention of sins performed by the priests, according to the RCC? And that makes you an ambassador for Christ? HOW?

11 posted on 03/09/2011 12:46:07 PM PST by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: smvoice; Campion
So reconciliation is made through the remittance or retention of sins performed by the priests, according to the RCC?

No. It is according to Christ. ALL of the 22 churches that make up the Catholic Church, follow the directives given by our Lord Himself.

"And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained." - John 20:22-23

The Catechism of the Catholic Church expands on this -

"When he celebrates the Sacrament of Penance, the priest is fulfilling the ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the Good Samaritan who binds up wounds, of the Father who awaits the prodigal son and welcomes him on his return, and of the just and impartial judge whose judgment is both just and merciful. The priest is the sign and the instrument of God's merciful love for the sinner." ccc 1465

"The confessor is not the master of God's forgiveness, but its servant." ccc 1466

12 posted on 03/09/2011 12:59:38 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: NYer; Campion

And this is why 2 Cor. 5:19 is not included in your Ash Wednesday reading.


13 posted on 03/09/2011 1:04:25 PM PST by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: smvoice; Campion
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season. Following Christ is certainly a hard journey, and that is what this season of lent is all about. It is to help us learn to sacrifice, as Christ sacrificed for us. It is not just sacrifice to inconvenience us, but rather to help us grow in faith and love. Sacrifice is necessary in the Christian journey, and I would even argue that it is something that makes us better people, better sons and daughters, better husbands and wives, and better friends and neighbors. This season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving can be very powerful, but only if we allow it to change us.

Let us all praise and thank God for this season of Lent and the graces that can come about from learning to sacrifice for His glory. May this Lenten journey be a time to growth for each and every one of us.

14 posted on 03/09/2011 1:11:02 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: NYer; smvoice; Campion

Smvoice:

Why start at verse 19, how about verse 18?

2 Corinthians: Chapter 5 [see link below, NAB translation used]

http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/2corinthians/2corinthians5.htm

[Verse 18 thru 21] And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

It seems pretty clear that St. Paul speaks of a “ministry of Reconciliation” and that he [and the Apostles] were ambassadors for Christ as if God were appealing through us [The Apostles and thus the Church were sent/founded by Christ and are his instruments of reconciliation]


15 posted on 03/09/2011 2:33:31 PM PST by CTrent1564
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: CTrent1564
Why not start at verse 14? They are about being reconciled to God. Verse 19 tells you HOW to be reconciled. Verses 20-21 tells you to be reconciled to God.

Let's us dieting as an example. Verse 20-21 tells you to diet. Verse 19 tells you HOW to diet. We can be ambassadors for diets, telling everyone they need to diet, but without verse 19, we aren't telling them HOW to diet.

Not imputing their trespasses unto them, gives us our WAY to be reconciled to God and become ambassadors for Christ. Without verse 19, we are left with not knowing how to be reconciled to God. It's the GOOD NEWS that is left out. The NEWS that saves.

16 posted on 03/09/2011 2:41:14 PM PST by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Thank you for posting this. But I must ask why is this not a Caucus or Devotional thread?


17 posted on 03/09/2011 2:54:31 PM PST by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CTrent1564; smvoice; Campion
Why start at verse 19, how about verse 18?

In 2 CORINTHIANS 5:20b – 6:10. Paul quite rightly linked the Christian message of reconciliation with God to the ministry of every Christian. He cited plainly the many difficulties he had experienced in carrying out this ministry and the plethora of spiritual gifts he had been given to do it. Paul’s ministry began when he met the risen Christ on the Damascus Road. We do not know the exact nature of the psychic experience of the encounter, but we do know what followed: a life totally dedicated to bringing the gospel to Jews and Gentiles alike. Wherever he went, he became the perfect example of an ambassador for Christ.

This passage deals with the challenges of such a positive ministry in direct contrast to the negative aspects of Lent that we so often emphasize. The first step is to be reconciled to God oneself. That took a considerable length of time for Paul. It is not possible to discover his exact movements in those early years because the narrative of Acts 9:26-30 do not completely correspond to his own account in Galatians 1:17. In his Corinthians letters, Paul did make a strong case for the severity of his trials as an apostle. In 2 Cor. 6:4-5 he quickly summarizes some of these, but vss. 6-10 balances them with an even longer list of the gifts he had been given to overcome them.

One thinks immediately of 20th century heroes of faith such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela whose lives similarly exemplified what Paul saw as being an ambassador for Christ. It is not the worthiness of character or the depths of one’s penitence, but the spiritual gifts provided by the Holy Spirit that gives such men and women the power to be who they are. Moral authority springs from encountering Christ in what was for Paul and countless others since a life-changing experience that enabled them to change the history of their own and subsequent times.

Why ignore the other two readings today and only focus on the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians? Let's take a closer look at Matthew.

MATTHEW 6:1-6, 16-21. From the collection of sayings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount comes this insightful observation: The essence of true penitential prayer is to be found in its secretive quality. On the other hand, making a public display for self-centred reasons is the essence of hypocrisy.

Few of us have a memorable skill in prayer. Even those who practice silent, contemplative prayer often have difficulty concentrating for any length of time. The human mind is so easily distracted by what is happening around us. For this reason, the counsel Jesus gave in this excerpt could be useful to everyone who sincerely desires to experience the presence of God in prayer. He himself took time apart for personal spiritual renewal in prayer in quiet places apart from the crowds that constantly pressed around him.

Jesus was also saying that ostentatious piety, expressed either in the mellifluous words of prayer or the giving of substantial gifts to the poor, only affect one’s spiritual health in negative ways. Those who seek to do this for personal aggrandizement receive just that kind of reward. In the Hebrew language there was no word for what we call “alms.” In that tradition, however, generosity to the poor was both required and praised (e.g. Deut. 15:11; Job 29:11-16). In the Sermon on the Mount, piety and almsgiving are synonymous. Paul urged his communities to make special efforts to remember the poor. Without question, this must be one aspect of a sincere response to God, not the chief means of obtaining such a relationship.

In the second part of this reading, Jesus similarly discredited ostentatious fasting, although that too had been an ancient tradition in Israel. The great liturgical fast occurred on the Day of Atonement. It could be undertaken on other occasions too: in personal mourning, intercession or petition for Yahweh’s aid, or as a national act in the face of some calamity. Total abstinence from food indicated absolute dependence on and submission to Yahweh. As we saw in the reading from Isaiah 58 above, the prophetic view held that whatever moral value fasting might have should be enhanced by compassion for the poor and continual social justice.

It would appear that in Jesus time, despite there being a strong connection between fasting and prayer, the practice had become something of a fetish for the publicly pious. Is our use of ashes spotting the forehead a similar ostentation? Did Jesus direct the main thrust of this passage at the Pharisees in particular? Their meticulous attention to details of the law would have made them a prime target for his sarcasm. He directed his followers to do their fasting in private and with certain aspects of rejoicing. Unlike John the Baptist and the Pharisees, he did not urge them to be too strict about it. Primarily, he recognized it as a spiritual discipline.

Perhaps it was for this reason that the early church adopted the practice, especially in preparation for baptism. By the late 4th century, Cyril of Jerusalem was counseling a forty day pre-baptismal fast prior to Easter, the traditional time for baptizing new catechumens. By the 5th century it had become the subject of discussion as having an apostolic origin. Rightly or wrongly, this was the probable origin of the later Lenten fast. It is not impossible that the general practice of a Lenten fast made a spiritual virtue of a real necessity. During the Early Middle Ages (aka Dark Ages) food production had fallen to such a low level as to force the reduction of food consumption during the late winter and early spring. Our English word Lent itself is no more than a Germanic word for spring when the hours of daylight lengthen.

Notice that Jesus does not say if but when you fast and pray. Modeling the life of Christ has the tradition of the Church since the time of Jesus Christ. All of these readings are tied together to encourage the christian to follow the leadership of the Shepherd and become His Ambassador here on earth.

18 posted on 03/09/2011 3:06:35 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)

The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Reformation Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor

Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges
Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]

Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]

History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)
Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (Muslim converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101

Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]

Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent

Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

19 posted on 03/09/2011 3:41:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Constitutions Grandchild

On another thread last week I heard about the Little Black Book for Lent from the Diocese of Saginaw. Ordered it and got it just in time !

It was only $5.50. They’re available from www.littlebooks.org.

Have a blessed Lent.


20 posted on 03/09/2011 4:11:07 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: CTrent1564; NYer; smvoice; Campion
"18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God."

Re: 2 Cor 5:18-20,"Why start at verse 19, how about verse 18? ...It seems pretty clear that St. Paul speaks of a “ministry of Reconciliation” and that he [and the Apostles] were ambassadors for Christ as if God were appealing through us [The Apostles and thus the Church were sent/founded by Christ and are his instruments of reconciliation]"

No. God reconciled us to Himself. Us refers to anyone and everyone who "is in Him", which does not refer to some special class of folks. 2 Cor 5:21, "21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Us here does not refer to some special class, it refers to ALL those that value the same things that God does. It is in Him, not in "special class, or group of folks, nor in some subset those that are "in Him". The idea that God reconciled only a few and only through them others could be reconciled to God is counter to what God taught and is reprehensible.

21 posted on 03/09/2011 4:13:59 PM PST by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: NYer
May this Lenten journey be a time to growth for each and every one of us.

Yes.

Thanks for your post.

22 posted on 03/09/2011 4:42:30 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: spunkets; smvoice; Campion; NYer

spunkets:

Nowhere in my post did I say that God only reconciled a few as I am not a Hyper Predestination kind of guy, i.e. God reconciled a few elect and those he did not he created for the purpose of sending into hell.

St. Paul speaks of a ministry of reconciliation, which is linked to the authority Christ gave the Apostles to forgive sins in his name as recorded in St. John’s Gospel [cf John 20: 21-23] and the authority to bind and loose as recorded in St. Mathew’s Gospel [cf. Mt 18:18]. In addition, St. James in his Epistle (cf. James 5:13-17] clearly refers to both “Confession” and “Annointing of the Sick” which are both in Catholic Theology Sacraments of Reconciliation and the context of the passage starting in verse 13 is “to call the presbyters of the Church” so the “confess your sins directive” related to the ministry of reconciliation/confession that Christ gave to the Church.

Finally, I will not link all the Church Fathers who interpreted Christ statements such as above to refer to the fact that Christ gave His Church the authority to forgive sins as they are many and thus the Church and the Sacraments are thuse the “normative instrument” thru which God reconciles humanity back to himself despite your “protests” otherwise.


23 posted on 03/09/2011 6:06:11 PM PST by CTrent1564
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: CTrent1564
"St. Paul speaks of a ministry of reconciliation, which is linked to the authority Christ gave the Apostles to forgive sins in his name

There was no such authority given to the Apostles exclusively, nor are folks to forgive in anyone elses name- including in God's name. They are to forgive the sins of others in their own name and the ministry of reconciliation was given to all. What is written in the Gospels is God's word to all, not just the few, or a few.

"... as recorded in St. John’s Gospel [cf John 20: 21-23]

John 20:23, "If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” This passage has more than one meaning, because it's not fundamental. It could mean that if someone does not forgive somone else's sin(s), the sin may rest on the one who failed to do as they were requested by God. In that event, the person who chose not to forgive, based their decision on values that conflicted with those of those held by the Holy Spirit. The passage could also mean that the one that makes the decision not to forgive does hold the same values of the Holy Spirit and God Himself will not forgive, as per the fundamental statement on the matter given by God in Matt 12:32, "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."

"...and the authority to bind and loose as recorded in St. Mathew’s Gospel [cf. Mt 18:18]."

God did not come to teach the few; He came to teach the many- all of them. His words were addressed to all, not just the few who have taken it upon themselves to monopolize and userp the gifts of sentience, rationality and free will that were given with the gift of creation. It is the epitome of arrogance to claim that the Keys to the Kingdom, were given to anyone other than the individual whose own decisions will be judged by God.

"In addition, St. James in his Epistle (cf. James 5:13-17] clearly refers to both “Confession” and “Annointing of the Sick” which are both in Catholic Theology Sacraments of Reconciliation and the context of the passage starting in verse 13 is “to call the presbyters of the Church” so the “confess your sins directive” related to the ministry of reconciliation/confession that Christ gave to the Church.

James concludes... James 5:16, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." It's clear that James analysis and conclusion are in opposition to yours, which calls for an exclusivity in both an order to praying and healing foreign to James.

"Finally, I will not link all the Church Fathers who interpreted Christ statements such as above to refer to the fact that Christ gave His Church the authority to forgive sins"

Democracy is not a logical operation. The truth of a concluison can not be jusitfied by appealing to the decisions made by any particular, or anonymous multitudes of individual(s). The truth of the matter must depend only on the evidence supporting the conclusion.

The fundamental and universally applicable writ on the matter, addressed to all and applying to all, is the following from Matt 6:14, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."

24 posted on 03/09/2011 7:04:08 PM PST by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: CTrent1564
... thus the Church and the Sacraments are thuse the “normative instrument” thru which God reconciles humanity back to himself."

As per above, this conclusion is not supported by the evidence, unless the instrument is the presentation of counter-examples to what God taught, to provide for confusion and other effective stumbling blocks.

"... despite your “protests” otherwise."

I simply presented what is written and presented the matter with clear logic and evidence. That is not protest.

25 posted on 03/09/2011 7:26:08 PM PST by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: D-fendr
These little devotionals are wonderful. There's the Little Blue Book for Advent, too. I still have my grandmother's daily devotional and my godmother's which is in German (don't think I'll be reading that any time soon). I return your kind blessing for a fulfilled Lenten season. May it truly be a time of growth for us all — a time for living the gospel and drawing closer to our Lord and Savior. I've set my goals this year and truly believe He will help me achieve them. Hope by Easter we will praise our paschal lamb with victories in hand to His glory!!!
26 posted on 03/09/2011 7:37:36 PM PST by Constitutions Grandchild
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: spunkets
I simply presented what is written and presented the matter with clear logic and evidence.

The "clear logic" and "evidence" shows me that Jesus, on the night after he rose from the dead (pretty significant point in time!) appeared to the Apostles, breathed on them, and gave them both the power and the authority to remit sins in his name.

Given the circumstances and text of John 20:22, I see no other possibility. I'm in pretty good company, because Christians have understood that verse that way for 2000 years. All of the Orthodox churches understand it the same way we do.

In fact, confession is such a natural, obvious thing that evangelicals have had to re-invent it. They call it "accountability partners," but it's the same thing, just without the apostolic authority passed down through the bishops.

27 posted on 03/09/2011 9:43:16 PM PST by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: smvoice
So reconciliation is made through the remittance or retention of sins performed by the priests, according to the RCC?

Christ is the priest and minister of every sacrament. The human priest merely acts as an instrument.

As I said before, we aren't searching for reconciliation, we already have it in abundance.

28 posted on 03/09/2011 9:48:42 PM PST by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: smvoice
Verse 19 tells you HOW to be reconciled.

Actually, it doesn't. It defines, in part, what reconciliation is, not how to get it.

(Non-imputation of sins is the bare minimum; God seeks to completely remove our sins from us along with all of the damage they've caused. He doesn't stop at mere non-imputation.)

29 posted on 03/09/2011 9:51:37 PM PST by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Campion
"The "clear logic" and "evidence" shows me that Jesus, on the night after he rose from the dead (pretty significant point in time!) appeared to the Apostles, breathed on them, and gave them both the power and the authority to remit sins in his name."

The evidence shows that He taught them and everyone else how to pray and in that lesson was contained the same things said as was repeated after the resurrection. Matt 6:9-15: “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Folks had the power and authority to forgive sins from the beginning, because of their gifts of sentience, rationality and free will. Their was no special gift of authority to some special class of folks. All have always had the power and the authority, and all were taught by God to use it to perform the particular act of forgiving that they were taught to repeat in their prayers.

"Given the circumstances and text of John 20:22, I see no other possibility. I'm in pretty good company, because Christians have understood that verse that way for 2000 years. All of the Orthodox churches understand it the same way we do."

Democracy is not a logical operation and I'm sure Isaiah would agree, even though this lesson is barely parable. I say barely, because some will insist on punishment as a debt owed for sin, and a nessesary conditional for "forgiveness" to be extended. the lesson clearly says not only the trespass, but the debt should be forgiven too. I don't see, as the preist forgives me, or has forgiven me anywhere in that lesson, or in the rest of the Gospels.

"In fact, confession is such a natural, obvious thing that evangelicals have had to re-invent it. They call it "accountability partners," but it's the same thing, just without the apostolic authority passed down through the bishops."

The power and authority were given as a gift with life in Gen 1:26-27 Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."

No apostolic authority passed down through any bishops is needed. If folks choose to discuss matters, including values, sin, their own sins and/or anything else with others, they are and were always free to do so.

30 posted on 03/10/2011 12:57:06 AM PST by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: spunkets

spunkets:

I understand your views are your views but nobody, and I mean no orthodox Church Father interpreted the Sacred Scriptures and formulated doctrines consistent with what you posted. End of discussion and God bless.


31 posted on 03/10/2011 6:09:43 AM PST by CTrent1564
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Campion
Actually, it does. Once again, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Cor. 5:19.

Read also verse 18: "And all things are of God, who HATH RECONCILED US UNTO HIMSELF BY JESUS CHRIST, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;".

It's past tense. It is ALREADY HAPPENED. It is not an ongoing process of reconciliation. Unless you believe you play a part in the reconciliation process. Then you work and suffer and work some more, all works of the flesh, not at all to the edifying of the spirit. Making a fair shew in the flesh, with outward signs, fasting, an ash cross on your forehead, the mass, etc, but accomplishing nothing except a pat on your back and all the atta-boys the flesh can muster.

32 posted on 03/10/2011 7:16:31 AM PST by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: CTrent1564
"...no orthodox Church Father interpreted the Sacred Scriptures and formulated doctrines consistent with what you posted."

How can this be? Is Scripture like a foreign language, or cryptic code, that it has to be interpreted? I've heard complaints about how those very same Church Fathers made up the Gospels themselves. I find it amazing how they didn't even try to justify their own claims in that writing. Instead, what they supposedly wrote contradicts their own claims and actions, and fixed those contradictions permanently in doctrine through the applicaiton of democratic process.

God Bless.

33 posted on 03/10/2011 12:25:49 PM PST by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: spunkets

spunkets:

THe methodology you are using is one that lacks continuity with the Tradition of the Apostles as handed on to the Apostolic Fathers [i.e. those that new the Apostles such as St. Clement of Rome and St. Polycarp] who then handed the orthodox Apostolic Tradition to the earliest Church Fathers. These same Church Fathers did not make up the Gospels for themselves, it is thru them and their defense against the various heretical movements starting in the early 2nd century such as the Gnostics [Marcionites, Ebionitites] and continuing with the Modalist, Montanist in the early 3rd century moving on to the Arians, Manicheans, Donatist, Nestorians in the 4th and 5th that the Bible as we know it came to be.

So what Doctrines of the early Church do you reject? Do you reject St. Ignatius of Antioch’s writings [circa 107 AD] against the Docetist? Do you reject Pope Pius I’s rejection of Marcion’s doctrines in circa 144 AD? Do you reject St. Irenaeus’s writings against the various Gnostic Movements written circa 175-180AD? Do you reject the early 3rd century writings of ST. Hippolytus of Rome and the various statements of various Popes in the early 3rd century that rejected Modalism? Do you reject the Decrees of the Council of Nicea in 325AD?

I will stop at this point as I am trying to figure out your theological methodology for arriving at the views you are positing here on FR?

Regards and God Bless


34 posted on 03/10/2011 2:00:29 PM PST by CTrent1564
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson