Almighty and everlasting God, Who in Christ hast revealed Thy glory too all nations: guard the works of Thy mercy; that Thy Church, spread over the whole world, may with steadfast faith persevere in the confession of Thy Name. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Saint Casimir, St Casimir Church, Buffalo, NY
Statue of Our Lady, Saint Casimir Church; Buffalo, NY
Today is the feast of St. Lawrence, a deacon of the Roman Church and one of the victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258. Since the fourth century St. Lawrence has been one of the most honored martyrs of the Church.
Image: St. Sixtus Ordains St. Lawrence, Fra Angelico, 1447-49.
Jesus said his Church would be “the light of the world.” He then noted that “a city set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matt. 5:14)
Jesus promised, “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). This means that his Church will never be destroyed and will never fall away from him. His Church will survive until his return.
The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13)
The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8)
The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10)
The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20)
Il Santo, “the Saint” loved by the multitudes. The Doctor of the Church, the miracle-worker, from Lisbon to Padua, the humble man of God entirely dedicated to Christ and His Church, a beacon of holiness for all ages.
He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.
Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
All glory, laud, and honor
to thee, Redeemer, King!
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the death of Jesus in passion Week. The struggle between our Lord and Satan ends with the victory of the savior at Eastertide.
During the time after Ash Wednesday, the liturgy peaks no more of our greatness but contemplates the misery of fallen humanity, the fatal consequences of original sin, and actual sin. and the sacrifice that God asked from the faithful Melchisedech, symbol of the sacrifice that Jesus brings for the whole of humanity.
“Who by this bodily fast dost curb our vices, lift our minds, and bestow strength and rewards”
Our souls are slaves of the devil, the flesh, and the world. Jesus came into the world, not to be crowned king of the Jews, but to deliver us from this threefold bondage and to restore to us the divine life which we had lost.
The Struggle between Satan and our Lord ends with the apparent success of Satan on Good Friday. The priests are robed in the black vestments of mourning, the whole Church wears an aspect of Sadness, but by the Sacrifice of himself, God the Son triumphs and gloriously comes forth from the sepulcher on Easter morning.
Another aspect of lent is penance.
Ultimately, we must take responsibility for our own sins. Satan may tempt us. But when we sin, we do so freely. In truth “from within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within” (Mk 7:22-23). Nonetheless, the Christian who honestly faces his or her own sins never despairs.
When we come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we come to Christ. He is waiting to release us from the slavery of sin. By confessing all our sins honestly and humbly, the Lord, present through the gift of his priesthood, forgives all of them, great and small alike. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Risen Lord draws us from the evils of this world into the peace of God’s own life.