In this lesson we continue the preparation of Septuagesima and turn our attention to the approaching penance of Ash Wednesday and Lent.
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Today is the Monday before Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of Lent in the Roman Catholic Church. Today is part of Septuagesima, the 17-day period preceding the beginning of Lent, which serves as preparation for Lent. Like Lent, Septuagesima was a time of additional penance where violent vestments were worn.
Today’s reading we considered today came from the Gospel of Mark relates the story of Legion; a similar story is found in Matthew 8:28-34. It is very clear through the Gospel that Jesus allows devils to exist. When satan fell from Heaven (Luke 10:18), nearly a third of all the angels followed him in rebellion to God and were condemned for eternal damnation. What is truly astonishing, though, are the words spoken to our divine Lord: “What have you to do with us, Son of God?” The world did not know Jesus Christ, its own Savior, but the demons did! While the world was crucifying its Savior on a Cross, the people did not comprehend what they were doing (Luke 23:34). But the demons knew the power of God; as St. James writes, “You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble” (James 2:19).
Rather, our Lord addresses us: “Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). And we can only be perfect through Him; He is our model for perfection. As we prepare to begin the season of Lent, let us seek to grow in the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. Let us now read from St. Leo the Great on Charity.
Charity by Pope St. Leo the Great
In John’s gospel the Lord says: By this love you have for one another, everyone will know you are my disciples. In a letter by John we read: My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.
So the faithful should look into themselves and carefully examine their minds and the impulses of their hearts. If they find some of the fruits of love stored in their hearts then they must not doubt God’s presence within them, but to make themselves more and more able to receive so great a guest they should do more and more works of durable mercy and kindness. After all, if God is love, charity should know no limit, for God himself cannot be confined within limits.
What is the appropriate time for performing works of charity? My beloved children, ... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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