Our ability to pray the Mass can be greatly increased by knowing “the four ends of the Mass” (as they are traditionally called): adoration, thanksgiving, atonement and petition.
Being trained to be free to choose good relies on our virtue, while having the good make us free is based on trusting God’s word. In theory, it’s complicated; in practice, it works.
Truth is, Ash Wednesday is a fitting day to contemplate our fleeting existence. Deep down, this fascinates everyone, but without faith it’s also extremely frightening.
Lent is a demanding time, especially if we take it seriously. We often look for excuses to not observe Lent, or are tempted to observe it in a watered-down manner: Lent-lite.
We’re going to focus on a singular objection: if God is all-powerful and all-good, why aren’t our prayers always answered?
How can we approach God? How can we even begin to attempt to know, love, and serve Him? Speaking His language is a good place to start, and His language is silence.
When we’re looking for the best explanation, we’re not looking to prove our case beyond doubt; we’re more like detectives, examining the evidence we have and trying to figure out what story best accounts for it.
What does the Cross have to do with us and how does Christ’s cruel death save us? The New Testament declares with clarity the fact that Christ’s death reconciles us to the Father and makes possible eternal life.
Advent does have a greater feel of joyful expectation about it than Lent. As someone put it: Lent is the time to make ready for Christ to die for us, but Advent is the time to make ready for Christ to live with us.