First Sunday of Lent
Our Lent got off to a frigid start this morning beginning with the coldest day of the winter season with below zero temperatures putting an end to what otherwise was a mild rather wimpy winter with record breaking warm temperatures. In keeping with the Rule of St. Benedict (48:15-16) we dutifully had the distribution of Lenten books in this morning’s chapter. St. Benedict asks his followers to be a bit more faithful to monastic practices during Lent including that staple of contemplative prayer, lectio divina. Lenten reading is a daily community exercise before Compline, one that most everyone looks forward to at the end of the day.
Also in chapter this meeting Abbot Gerard and Fr. Stephen gave a brief account of the US Regional Meeting that took place at Gethsemani last week. They returned home late this past Monday afternoon. Abbot Gerard reviewed some of the highlights of the meeting and Fr. Stephen followed with an attractive slide presentation of some of the goings on including a virtual tour of some of the abbey itself.
At the meeting our Fr. Jerome Machar was appointed Subscription Manager for the Cistercian Studies Quarterly to succeed Br. Brian Rooney of Saint Joseph Abbey, Spencer, MA. If you are unacquainted with the publication, an international review of the monastic and contemplative spiritual tradition founded in 1966, you will find information about it on the home page: http://cistercian-studies-quarterly.org/.
After he was baptized by John in the Jordan River, Jesus was led to a face-to-face confrontation with Satan. In obedience to the Spirit, Jesus actually took the offensive against temptation instead of avoiding it!
Here, at the very beginning of his ministry, he attacked the power of Satan with the word of God, the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). And, for forty days in the Judean wilderness, Jesus remained steadfast, relying solely on his Father’s promises
Thanks be go God that Jesus has come! He has reversed the pattern of sinful humanity, freeing us from bondage to sin and death! Today, because of Jesus, we can know the same victory he knew. Because we have received his Spirit, we can face times of temptation patiently, relying on the power of God within us.
Should we fail, we have the precious gift of repentance, which restores us immediately to God’s love and protection. By imitating Jesus’ humility and trust in the Father, we can learn to stand our ground and share in his triumph.
Luke: A Devotional Commentary
Leo Zanchettin, General Editor