Dear Friends, Br. Christopher speaks on the joy of Lent:
This Wednesday the Church entered into the penitential season of Lent. The word “lent” comes from the Old English word for “Spring”. I used to consider that Lent got that name because it always comes around in the springtime, but now I realize that Lent is a spring time for our souls, a time of hope and new growth. That is why it is exciting and joyful. In his Rule for Monks our father St. Benedict describes Lent in exactly the terms of joy:
During these days, therefore,
let us increase somewhat the usual measure of our service,
as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink.
Thus everyone of his own will may offer God
"with joy of the Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 1:6)
something above the measure required of him.
From his body, that is
he may withhold some food, drink, sleep, talking and jesting;
and with the joy of spiritual desire
he may look forward to holy Easter. (RB 49)
St. Benedict wants us to understand the disciplines we eagerly undertake are meant to be a road to the fulfillment of our holy desire: a deeper communion and love of God in Jesus and Resurrection with Him. We will always have encouragement and not go astray on our Lenten observance if keep our “eyes on the prize”: our upward calling in Christ. From this point of view it is truly a joyful work!
Prayers and Blessings,
Your brothers of New Clairvaux
#lent #RuleofStBenedict #joy