"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm."
"Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey."
~ Papa Benedict XVI

Sunday, March 6

Preparing for Lent - Part 2

So where were we?

What is Lent? 
Why i even tried to tackle this question is beyond me ... i have spent some time researching about Lent being more than just 'preparing for Easter.'

Diving in i found that Lent is to prepare ourselves for the sacraments of Christian initiation. 
Here is where my search led me....

Catholic Online states 'Preparation for Baptism and for renewing baptismal commitment lies at the heart of the season.'  (this was the first thing i found)

So how do we incorporate that into the whole season?  Many families focus on Baptism during Holy Week, but to spend the entire season learning about and preparing for THE Baptism is a mighty tall order. 
I have never really looked at Lent that way before...but it makes perfect sense.

#1227 According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through Baptism into communion with Christ's death, is buried with him, and rises with him:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.(Rom 6:3-4; cf. Col 2:12)

The baptized have "put on Christ."Gal (3:27) Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.(CE 1Cor 6:11; 12:13)

But then we remember that Baptism is the first sacrament of Christian initiation

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The sacraments of Christian initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist - lay the foundation of every Christian life.  'The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life.  The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.  By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1212)

So i read further through the Catechism. If  you do so you see that Lent is actually about preparing for all three sacraments

The Eucharist:
#1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit. (Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740; cf. 1 Cor 11:23; Heb 7:24, 27)

#1287 This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah's, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people. (Cf. Ezek 36:25-27; Joel 3:1-2) On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit, (Cf. Lk 12:12; Jn 3:5-8; 7:37-39; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8) a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost. (Cf. Jn 20:22; Acts 2:1-14) Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim "the mighty works of God," and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age. (Acts 2:11; Cf. 2:17-18) Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn. (Cf. Acts 2:38)

Phew!  Through prayer, fasting and alms giving we prepare our hearts and souls to receive these sacraments in light of Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension, as well as Pentecost.

Do you teach your children about this every year?  What resources are out there to help us do so?

Recently i found a great free resource at That Resource Site. Its called A Little Lesson on Via Dolorosa - The Road to Sorrows.

It begins all the way back with Adam and Eve.  From there it moves to Mary's yes, and then on through the life of our Lord.

There is beautiful art work, and pages appropriately placed for both journaling and lapbooking.  There are no directions on how to use these extra pages but they are placed where in the reading you would use them. (that is my only issue with this beautiful tool - some of us have enough going on to want to be told 'this is how you do it')

For those of you more interested in a complete lapbook, Faith Folders for Catholics has several for sale that would be appropriate for the Lenten season.


Fidelio said...

I want a leaf-and-caterpillar calendar.

Also, this is all being printed and taken to RCIA class tonight. Just sayin'.


allison said...

Maybe if your nice, one year i'll make you one!

And WHAT is being printed and taken??? Are you crazy?? (we won't answer that) I have nothing intelligent to say ... and i can't even spell correctly!
Oh goodness me!

ps. for those not who don't know ...Fidelio is my SIL. I don't talk to everyone like that! : )