God's Forgiveness and Mercy
As the Church makes her way through her annual Lenten retreat toward the joy and new life of Easter, we find ourselves equipped once more with the tools which Christ recommended for this journey: Prayer, fasting and almsgiving. How well are we making use of these tools this Lent?
St. Peter Chrysologus, fifth-century bishop of Ravenna, Italy, stated of prayer, mercy and fasting that “…these three are one, and they give life to each other. Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. … If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.”
If we want to be close to Christ, if we want to walk in his footsteps during this or any season, we must take the time each day to pray. Prayer is defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) as a “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God” (paragraph 2558). The psalms remind us that God will accept a humble and contrite heart. Do we pray from a humble heart or from a heart that is full of pride and self-will? ...