Sunday, 10 March 2019

Jesus in the wilderness (First Sunday of Lent)

First Sunday of Lent

Let us pray

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, 
who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging out wretchedness,
may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen

The Temptation of Christ by Simon Bening

One of the first things to understand about Lent is that in this season we consciously unite ourselves spiritually with Christ fasting in the wilderness.

In one of the prayers that the priest prays during mass in Lent, he says:

“By abstaining forty long days from earthly food, he consecrated through his fast the pattern of our Lenten observance and by overturning all the snares of the ancient serpent, taught us to cast out the leaven of malice, so that, celebrating worthily the Paschal Mystery, we might pass over at last to the eternal paschal feast.”

Our work in Lent is no less than this casting out of the ‘leaven of malice’, the temptations of the devil, in order that the celebration of Easter may bear real fruit. We dare to attempt this, knowing that Christ has gone before us, and has given us, through the Church the grace to do it.
“For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).

Fr Ian is a catholic priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England. He is by papal dispensation married. He lives in a former convent with his wife and children in Devon, near the sea.

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)