Through our definition we will journey together to better understand what is LENT all about.Quadragesima– is a Latin Term which means “a time period of forty days” – it is a term used in the 4th century documents of the Church until now.Other languages derive their name for Lent from QUADRAGESIMA – Italian – quaresimaand Spanish – CuaresimaNOTE: That in the early days what is indicated is the “LENGTH of TIME DEDICATED to the PREPARATION for the PASCHAL TRIDUUM…BUT it DOESNOT say anything about the WAY to prepare for it.
40 becomes a JOURNEY of PREPARATION for the COMING OF GRACE from GOD. (paghahandaupangtumanggapngmilagro at biyaya) Actually its not 40 days until Holy Thursday…its already 44 days…40 days is exactly on the Palm Sunday…but if we go back to the term “QUADRAGESIMA” it is does not strictly meant 40 days in the numerical sense but is has to be understood in the HISTORICAL SENSE. E.g Easter it is not just about the RESSURECTION as a single event but an EASTER UNITY from THURSDAY, FRIDAY and SATURDAY.Perobakitpinaggigiitanang 40? Its because of two reasons….Scriptures and Church Fathers.
What is the significance according to the Church Fathers? (refer page 20, a. with a star)LENT we become a new creation by the grace of God if we destroy the CORRUPTION of SIN.
What is the significance according to the Church Fathers? (refer page 21, b. with a star)We ESCAPE the SLAVERY of SIN and UNDERTAKE the WALK of FREEDOM during LENT…we too will experience all kinds of hardships, doubts and fears BUT we are assured that He will lead us and be at our side.
What is the significance according to the Church Fathers? (refer page 22, f. with a star)Like Elijah we will encounter fear and discouragement in our Lenten journey…but the Lord continues to strengthen us by the special food of our soul HIS WORD and the EUCHARIST.
What is the significance according to the Church Fathers? (refer page 21, c. with a star)Moses is our model this Season of Lent, WE SHOULD SEEK THE INTIMACY with GOD, only if we encounter HIM in the SILENCE of OUR HEARTS at PRAYER…leaving for a while problems, concerns, even persons and things behind us…. SO THAT WE CAN DISCERN and LISTEN to GOD knowing his plans and will for our lives.
What is the significance according to the Church Fathers? (refer page 22, f. with a star)We too are reminded with the our baptismal commitment (who we are and what our mission is) and through Lent we are led into PENANCE because we have realized how we did fall short in living out our God given faith.
A- Alms giving – SHARING is one of our ID’s for it is motivated by LOVE…sharing our TALENTS, TIME and TREASURE. S – Sacrifices (fasting)- we deny or discipline ourselves with self-centeredness and selfishness…by relying sole on GOD.H – Holiness (prayer) – we desire to ENCOUNTER the LORD and ENTER into a RELATIONSHIP with HIM…after all HE IS A GOD who ALWAYS wanted to be with us. PRAYER – allows us to open our hearts and appreciate the LOVE or CHARITY of GOD…we FAST we deny ourselves with some good things and economically it has an impact in us literally…by appreciating in a deeper way the LOVE of GOD in us, we RADIATE this LOVE as well by SHARING what we have, through ALMS GIVING. THEY ARE NOT OPPOSE to each other but rather they are INTERCONNECTED and COMPLEMETARY.
Historically – ashes is only used by the penitents but later by the faithful. ashes is used by the old church, there is public penance for 40 days to those who committed mortal sins such as MURDER, APOSTASY and ADULTERY., and they are excluded from the Eucharistic celebration…they are reconciled on Holy Thursday. They have penitential garments with ashes on it…(MAKATI eto) 11th century all faithful received ashes as solidarity with public sinners and as an expression of their sinfulness…PUBLIC PENANCE disappeared BUT the IMPOSITION of ASHES remained.12th century developed a custom that the ashes burned is from the previous year palmsVatican II – imposition of ashes is now integrated within the mass as before it is done outside the mass.SIGN of PURITY – FIRE DESTROYED IMPURITIES..even today FIRE or HEAT is USED to STERILIZE and KILL GERMS.LENTEN JOURNEY is PAINFUL but NECESSARY inorder to BRING OUT THE BEST in US.
Short Catechesis on Lent and Easter Liturgy
What is the Season of Lent?Lent can be defined as a period offorty (40) days before Easter,intended to be a time of intensivepreparation for the celebration ofthe Paschal Mystery.- Lent begins on Ash Wednesdayand lasts up to the Holy ThursdayEvening.
What is the significance of forty days(40) in our Lenten preparations?1. Lent can be defined as a period of forty (40) daysbefore Easter…- Number forty (40) is traditionally emphasized because it is often found in the Scriptures connecting it to the salvation history.- These scriptural allusions were used by the Church Fathers in explaining to us the meaning of Lent.
What are the biblical accounts in which(40) has a special significance?- Genesis 7:12, 17 “Noah and the Great Flood”“Rain fell upon the earth forty daysand forty nights”“The flood continued forty days uponthe earth…”- The New creation begun afterdestroying the corrupted mankindthrough a flood.
What are the biblical accounts in which(40) has a special significance?- Exodus 16:35 “Journey to the Promised Land”“And the people of Israel ate themanna for forty years, till they came toa habitable land”- The Israelites walked to the promisedland and has escaped the slavery of theEgyptians.
What are the biblical accounts in which(40) has a special significance?- 1 Kings 19:8 “Elijah on the way to Horeb”“Elijah arose and ate and drank andwent in the strenght of that food fortydays and forty nights to Horeb the Mt.of God”-Elijah is comforted and strengthenedby a food so he could reach theMountain of God – Horeb.
What are the biblical accounts in which(40) has a special significance?- Exodus 24:18 “Moses on Mt. Sinai”“And Moses entered the cloud, andwent up on the mountain and Moseswas on the mountain forty days/fortynights”-Moses spent solitude with God,listening and knowing the plan and willof God.
What are the biblical accounts in which(40) has a special significance?- Mt. 4:1-11/Luke 4:1-13 “The Temptation of Jesus”“Jesus was led up by the Spirit into thewilderness to be tempted by the devil.And he fasted forty days and fortynights”-Jesus was tempted but He knows whoHe is and His mission is clear to Him.
How do we prepare ourselves?2. A time of intensive preparation for the celebrationof the Paschal Mystery. Alms Giving Prayer Fasting
What is the meaning of ashes during AshWednesday? 1. It is a symbol of transiency – we are reminded how short and how passing human life is. 2. It is sign of purity – they are pure elements since they undergo the burning process.