The joyful season of Lent is on our spiritual horizon. In recent times Lent has had a bad press. The thought of six weeks of penance depressed many. Giving up things with the prospect of failure and then having to go through the torture of going into the dark confessional and confessing, did not inspire. Lent had been infiltrated with Jansenism and Narcissism . Lent had lost it's intended joy. A joy promised by Christ....His Joy.
Thanks to CTS and Fr Henry an effort at restoring a balance is attempted. His pamphlet though small in stature is great in content. Fr Wansbrough does not deny a need for discipline in the Christian life. What is needed is a self-control that is rooted in love. That love that is revealed by the Father through His Son in the Holy Spirit. That is what Lent is all about.
Fr Henry's writings are imbued with his profound knowledge and love of Sacred Scripture. He guides us through -study-prayer-action that makes us to be mature in Christ. Lent is not just about giving up chocolate -though that may be a good thing in itself-it is about visiting the lonely person living down the road- even just to say -' hallo ' .
Lent above is about growing in consciousness of Christ and Christ in our fellow humans. If on that Blessed Easter morning I can in my heart say a thanks to Christ...then my Lent will have been a good one.
C.T.S. Holy Week Missal...People's Edition.
In 1963 when the Council Fathers - under the authority of St. Pope John XIII-met; they decided that their first task was to get the ' Prayer Life ' of the Catholic Church right. It was to be the first pastoral thing to do. The result was ' Sacrosanctum Concilium ' the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy '. Truly the hour of the Laity had arrived. Two paragraphs make this clear. From the introduction...' It is through the liturgy, especially, that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.'
From the chapter on the 'Most Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist' 'The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God's word, and be nourished at the table of the Lord's Body. They should give thanks to God.'
This is still a work in progress. Still in 2019 we have poor awareness of the Grace that is the Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum . The C.T.S. must be congratulated on this production. This Missal is clear and instructive and beautifully produced. All that the St. Pope John XIII and His Council would have wished for.
Father John Buckley.
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