Monday, March 3, 2014

The hours before Lent...

The last days before Lent are commonly called Shrovetide, coming to us from the old word "shrive," meaning to be forgiven for sin, as making confessions prior to Lent's start was--and is--a traditional part of these days. Shrovetide is a kind of mixture of fun activities (pancakes &c.) and thinking about what particular matters of spiritual concern are at issue in our life as we begin Lent on Wednesday. 

One of the prayers that sums up the focus of the season ahead was written by St. Ignatius Loyala, founder of the Jesuits (the order who gave us Pope Francis). This prayer shows the author's profound spiritual intensity and also a deep love for God. It might serve as a kind of "motto" for our Lenten journey ahead.

Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve: to give and not count the cost; to fight and not heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we are doing your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Ignatius Loyola

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