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Monday, February 23, 2009

Basic Posture for Lent

It is only 2 days away before we enter into the period of Lent once again. For Catholics, it is a period where we would have, just about, 40 days of this season for a spiritual retreat of sorts to get ourselves properly disposed for Easter.

Whatever steps or activities that is done or achieved later, it is still important to take note that the basic posture in all of them is one of humility and this attitude of entrustment to the love and care of God. There is a tendency amongst us who would like to think that the more 'good works' we do, i.e. anything that falls under the general category of almsgiving, fasting and prayer, the more 'points' and 'favours' we can score with God and that we have done more than enough on our part with regards Lent and Easter. This kind of attitude is what is called today as semi-Pelagianism. It is simply the denial/rejection of God's grace and to say that we can achieve our 'requirements' solely by our own efforts.

This is perhaps fueled by our own societal approaches towards the kind of reward which follows a work well done, for example in exams, meeting sales targets, service awards, etc. In themselves, they are not wrong and is a way to bring about a sense of achievement and to acknowledge the contribution of an individual or group to the well-being of the community, society, or maybe even the world. However, in Christianity, that is not the end-all. I take the cue from the fourth weekday preface, where it states, "You have no need of our praise, yet our desire to thank you is itself your gift. Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness, but makes us grow in your grace."

It is simple enough to do what we can during this Lent and to do them in honest love, dropping all those pretensiousness, especially for any spiritual activity we set out to undertake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are right, no point trying to impress HIM. All the same I thought I need to score some points to... to impress whom? Well that’s a good start 'a quaresima'


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