Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lent is around the corner

We're a week away. Boy, hard to believe! I was reading Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2007. As always, I find his words thoughtful, thought-provoking and uplifting. Here he returns to the themes of his first encyclical, agape and eros and talks about what they might mean for Lent.
The response the Lord ardently desires of us is above all that we welcome His love and allow ourselves to be drawn to Him. Accepting His love, however, is not enough. We need to respond to such love and devote ourselves to communicating it to others. Christ “draws me to Himself” in order to unite Himself to me, so that I learn to love the brothers with His own love.
And then
The Fathers of the Church considered these elements as symbols of the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. Through the water of Baptism, thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit, we are given access to the intimacy of Trinitarian love. In the Lenten journey, memorial of our Baptism, we are exhorted to come out of ourselves in order to open ourselves, in trustful abandonment, to the merciful embrace of the Father (cf. Saint John Chrysostom, Catecheses, 3,14ff). Blood, symbol of the love of the Good Shepherd, flows into us especially in the Eucharistic mystery: “The Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self-oblation … we enter into the very dynamic of His self-giving” (Encyclical Deus caritas est, 13). Let us live Lent then, as a “Eucharistic” time in which, welcoming the love of Jesus, we learn to spread it around us with every word and deed. Contemplating “Him whom they have pierced” moves us in this way to open our hearts to others, recognizing the wounds inflicted upon the dignity of the human person; it moves us, in particular, to fight every form of contempt for life and human exploitation and to alleviate the tragedies of loneliness and abandonment of so many people. May Lent be for every Christian a renewed experience of God’s love given to us in Christ, a love that each day we, in turn, must “regive” to our neighbour, especially to the one who suffers most and is in need.
And what a beautiful designation for Our Lady -- "Mary, Mother of Beautiful Love!"

In a piece at Zenit, Archbishop Cordes highlights the contrast with Pope John Paul's Lenten messages, which focused largely on the social diemsnion of love, on what may be loosely termed, "charity." Benedict's messages are very theocentric and Christocentric. And, I would add, puts everything in the context of the cosmic perspective of the Christian narrative. [For whatever reason, I cannot get Zenit to load at this moment.]


City Yogin said...

Ahh..just think. This time last year, we were gearing up for our wonderful trip to ROMA!

Gashwin said...

It's been a year? No way! Wow. :)

Say .... "ge-laaa-to" :-)

And ... "Americano!"