Thursday, February 28, 2013

In Union with Rome- Quick Takes

Priest's Wife @ Fear Not Little Flock here- I'd love to introduce you to some websites and blogs that will inspire your Great Lent

"Why Do We Fast? I have been questioned at work lately about the purpose of our Lenten fasting. Why do we fast? Why is it so important. Why do Roman Catholics give up things for Lent? And why are Eastern Catholics restricted to certain foods? There are, of course, a number of answers. We have fasted from ancient times. Fasting helps us to take our attention from the things of this world in order to transfer that attention onto God. Fasting reminds us that the things of this world are good, but that as Christians we seek a higher good, a life transfigured by the indwelling of the Trinity." Continue at The Master Beadsman
"In the Byzantine tradition I believe there is a more complete understanding of the Lord’s death. In fact, each year we proclaim this during Holy Pascha when we say, “Christ is risen from the dead, By death He trampled death, And to those in the tombs He granted life”. From this perspective the Lord’s death becomes the means to end the problems with the human condition, which are the problems that keep us from God. Based on this, the guilt debt from sin is given a different position. Instead of our guilt being something that specifically makes God punish us with the fires of Hell it becomes more a power that leads us to our own self destruction. Being under the power of sin we are stuck in this cycle that leads to death, which is also a cycle that leads us to sin because we die. Finding ourselves in this impossible condition we are without a doubt in need of redemption. A redemption that not only just satisfies God’s wrath but one that gives us the freedom from our own condition." Continue at ECSR

3. The Nuns at Christ the Bridegroom
"Let us stress once more that the purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to "soften"our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden "thirst and hunger" for communion with God. This Lenten "atmosphere," this unique "state of mind," is brought about mainly by means of worship, by the various changes introduced during that season into the liturgical life.  Considered separately, these changes may appear as incomprehensible "rubrics," as formal prescriptions to be formally adhered to; but understood as a whole, they reveal and communicate the spirit of Lent, they make us see, feel, and experience that bright sadness which is the true message and gift of Lent." Continue at Christ the Bridegroom

"The Journey - I like to reflect upon how I am living out this penitential season.  But, I am always cautious to do so on the internet, because we are called to do so in privacy.  We are to "wash our face, anoint our heads" and partake of our Fast with joy and love of the Lord.  Lent is a great gift to us.  It is an opportunity to turn ourselves back to the way things ought to be.  It is a time to be less self-absorbed with the physical and balance the physical with the metaphysical.  Ah, Lent! It is a rich season of our faith.  It is the story of the creatures' life with the Creator.  Liturgically we journey from creation, fall, exile and to the Apex of our exile--Christ and our Salvation.  It's an amazing journey.  I have been partaking in Lent since I was a little girl and each year Lent grows into something bigger and more beautiful.  I learn new things about the tradition each year.  I wonder if there will ever be a year where I say, I think I have completed the full journey of Great Lent." Continue at Claytonopolis
5. This Lent, I have been enjoying the 'Lentcasts' of Fr Z, pray-as-you-go as usual and the radio programs of Light of the East. try it!
"The Holy Church gives us different ascetical practices that help us achieve a change of heart towards God. In my opinion, these Four ascetical practices take on a greater role during the Great Fast:
1. Realizing, repenting, and confessing ones transgressions before God and neighbor 2. Fasting from certain types of food 3. Increased prayer and alms giving 4. Increased scriptural spiritual readings
These are by no means the only four aspects of the spiritual life that can aid us during the fast, but I find that these four are what our Church stresses the most during this season. As with all things in the spiritual life, seeking the advice of one’s Spiritual Father is paramount to any Great Fast observance. (You wouldn’t start taking heart medicine without seeking the advice of a physician, would you? Same thing when it comes to spiritual medicine)" Continue at Ramblings of a Byzantine Catholic

7. and here are two videos...Learning the Liturgy and Cardinal Arinze...