Her Doctrine and Morals

First Sunday in Lent

14 February 2016


The Sunday


Click the button on the right to be told about updates. Your address will be kept strictly private.

The Sunday Sermon Archive

Dear Friend,

Saint Paul instructs us that, "Now is the acceptable time." (2 Cor. 6,2) We have begun the Lenten season of penance on Ash Wednesday, and today we bring forth a solemn commencement of this sacred time. Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, but Sundays are holy days. When all the faithful are required to attend Mass, Our Holy Mother the Church, solemnly enters the Lenten season.

We should always be in a spiritual state that is worthy to receive Jesus into our hearts in the Holy Eucharist. It is not only during the Easter season that we should be in this state of grace. However, we find that our daily lives are often clouded over with the spiritual dust and dirt from this life, and our ordinary efforts to keep clean from the defilement of this world are not enough. Our Holy Mother the Church has instituted for us this special time for the cleansing of our souls. Whatever spiritual works we have been doing, now is the time to increase them. If we have given alms throughout the year, now is the time to give even more. If we have fasted and abstained, then, now is the time to redouble our efforts. If we find that we have not done anything throughout the year, now is the time to start.

Our innocent Jesus has led the way, and given us the example with His forty days-fast in the desert. Hungry and weakened by the fast, we see that Jesus is then tempted by the devils. He overcomes each of the temptations and shows us the tools or weapons that we must employ, in our fight against the temptations of the devils. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength, so we can rest assured that the devils attacks against us will not be as severe as they were against Jesus. With the degree of force that God allows us to be tempted, He gives to us the grace necessary not only to resist the temptation, but to overcome the devils and truly humiliate them as Jesus did.

The devils are, nonetheless, very cleaver. Perhaps their most useful temptation is that of pride. There will be many that will fast and do penance this Lenten season, only, in the end, to be robbed of any merit from their actions. The devils will often encourage great penances and sacrifices and even aid us in the performance of these would be good actions. However, after we have completed our "good" works, the devils suggest to us that we have done well, that we are good and holy souls now — and thus fill our hearts and minds with pride and vanity. If we succumb to this, we have effectively allowed the devils to turn our "good" actions into evil ones.

Let us remember the admonition of Christ: "After you have done all things well, say to yourselves, ‘We are unprofitable servants, for we have only done that which we ought to have done.'" (Luke 17, 10) In this manner, we can resist the temptation to pride and vanity. It is also good to bear in mind that we are not to measure our works (sacrifices, penances, mortifications, etc.) against those done by others. It matters not the relative quality or quantity in comparison with our neighbors. The measure for comparison is Jesus Christ, not our neighbors. We are to measure up to Him. He is the One that has been given as our role model to imitate and follow — not our neighbor.

Let us not imagine that we have accomplished more or have sacrificed more than another. For truly, we do not know the heart and mind of another. We have no idea of the true sacrifices or merits that others have made or gained. If we do compare ourselves with our neighbor, we should then prefer him to ourselves. The true measure of comparison is with Jesus. In every instance, we must conclude that we have fallen short. We should not become disheartened and depressed at this, but rather take courage in faith, that God will fill up that which is lacking in us. All that is truly required is that we do our best — that we give God our all.

Once again, now is the acceptable time. It is the time for us to follow Jesus into the desert for forty days. Our time of fasting and of penances has just begun. It is time to begin or increase our spiritual efforts. Let us put forth our greatest efforts in this, and always recall the weapons that Jesus gave us to fight against the three-fold temptations that the devils never tire of using against us. Jesus is innocent and did not deserve these sacrifices or the assaults of the devils; we, however, do deserve to suffer and to be attacked, because we have not followed God's graces as we should have. We can never fully satisfy Divine Justice by our actions, but if we truly follow Christ and become one with Him, He will take from His Own merits, and fill up that which is lacking in ourselves. In the end, may we always remain meek and humble of heart as Jesus was, and not allow all our efforts to become vain and empty through the vices of pride or vanity.

Click here for a FREE sample copy of THE SERAPH

Would you like to make a donation?

Or, just log onto, after signing in you can send your donation to us at: .

Blog with audio downloads

Return to Menu.

Return to Homepage.