In the struggle between grace and our fallen nature, Christ stands at our sides, ready with His word and His bread to lead us on to victory.
Twice in today's Mass the Church sings of His kindly protection: "The Lord will give you shelter and you will find safety beneath His wings. His truth will be a shield to cover you." His truth — that is, His word — and the Eucharist will be our shelter and protection.
Let us then stir up our faith in the victory of grace over fallen nature. Let us stir up our faith in the power of Christ. Let us arm ourselves with that confidence which finds such wonderful expression in today's Gradual Psalm (90). It is not only the devil who is seeking us out. Christ has commended us to the care of His angels, bidding them support us in their hands lest we trip on a stone. Now, surely, we can understand much better what St Paul means in the opening words of his Epistle: "Brethren, we can treat you not to offer God's grace an ineffectual welcome. I have answered thy prayer, he says, in a time of pardon, I have brought thee help in the day of salvation. And here is the time of pardon; the day of salvation has come already." Much will depend on the use we make of this season of Lent.
Christ will surely bring to pass what he proclaimed today at the beginning of this mass: "He [the man grace] will call upon me and I shall hear him. I shall rescue him and give him glory. I will give him life to his heart's content" Yes, Christ is at our side in the struggle against our fallen nature and against the devil. On earth He gives us the glory of grace; in Heaven, the glory of eternal life'.
Fr. Pius Parsch. "Lent: The struggle between grace and our fallen nature." from Seasons of Grace (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963).
This book is in the public domain.
Father Pius Parsch, C.R.S. (1884-1954) was a Czech liturgist and member of the Canons Regular at Klosterneuburg Abbey. He is the author of Seasons of Grace.Copyright © 1963 Herder and Herder
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