In this period of Pre-Lent, we focus on the need for a Savior and recall the sin of Adam and Eve.
This past Sunday, the Church began the season of Septuagesima. Septuagesima is traditionally observed 2 and a half weeks before the start of Lent. This time, informally called "Pre-Lent," is a time for us to focus on the need for a Savior. It is a time for us to begin to prayer our souls, minds, and bodies for Lent. It is a time to prepare a Lenten prayer schedule, so that we can determine which extra devotions and Masses we will go to in Lent. It is a time to begin weaning ourselves from food so that we may more readily fast during Lent.
As we prepare to begin the discipline of Lent, which are traditionally 40 days of fasting and penance, I would like to recommend the series of lessons on Lent which CatechismClass.com is currently offering at a discount of 25%.
The series of lessons on Lent includes a lesson for all days during the week of Ash Wednesday and a weekly lesson for all weeks of the season. This course also include lessons on all of the Sundays of Septuagesima.
Simply add the course to your cart and enter LENT2015 as a discount code. You will save 25%. I'm very happy to recommend this great, traditional program.
Dead Christ Mourned by the Angels, Boston Museum
Importance of Lent
With regard to prayer, St. Paul tells us to "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thess. 5:17). And Our dear Lord advises us, "Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it you." (John 16:23). Also He said, "If you abide in me [i.e., "live in Me," or "stay in the state of grace"], and my words abide ["live"] in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7). Further, Our Lord has said, "Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36). And in the Book of Judith we read, "Know ye that the Lord will hear your prayers, if you continue with perseverance in fastings and prayers in the sight of the Lord." (Judith 4:11).
Our obligation to do apostolic work, no matter who we are, is seen in the general admonition of St. John the Baptist, ". . .make straight the way of the Lord . . ." (In. 1:23; Is. 40:3). The Church has used this counsel in her Advent liturgy, so we know it applies to all—at least to the extent that all must pray and do penance for the success of the Church's missionary activity, help support it financially—and wherever possible take an active part in the conversion or reconversion of those we know.
The primary purpose of Lent, of course, is to help us become truly holy—and we should work toward this goal during Lent by extra prayer, penance, good works, almsgiving, attendance at Mass and reception of the Sacraments (the chief sources of grace).