From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…February 18, 2018

Now that Lent has begun, it is useful to remember why we engage in this season of prayer and penance. There is no real “first” reason because all the reasons work together, but if I were to make a first reason, I would begin with the Lent being the time when catechumens, those preparing for Baptism and the Sacraments at Easter, are making their final preparations.

In the first few centuries of the Church, the catechumenate, the time of preparation, could last for years. It lasted for years because the catechumen had to not only grow in knowledge about the faith, but they had to already be turning away from sin and growing in holiness. We don’t always remember it these days, but back then the world was largely pagan. In some areas of the world a man might have multiple wives. It would take time to resolve that problem. The whole system of the world, say public baths and prostitution, were common. In fact, the whole civic life was ordered around pagan worship and practices. It took time for a person to extricate himself from all of this.

This is often not the case in the Western world today. Even though secular society might not be Christian anymore, it is still founded on Christian values. Polygamy isn’t a problem. There is no political religion that would cause entanglements. There are elements of our society that are antithetical to our Christian lives, but they are not the very fabric of our society. Therefore, to leave behind those practices is much easier in many ways.

When the catechumens were ready to be received into the Church, Lent stood as the final stage of preparation. They would be examined by the Church (the Scrutinies), and the sponsors would give witness to growth and development of the individual. Lent, then, was the final period of purification and preparation for the individual who wanted to commit his life to Christ.

It is good to remember this because we are preparing to welcome new brothers and sisters into the Church. Some have already been baptized, some need to be baptized; all, though, need to continue to prepare to take on the life of a Christian in the Church. Remembering this, we need to step up our prayers for them so that this season will be a special time for them. We definitely want Easter to be a day of great joy for them and for us as we grow together as God’s family.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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