Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To arms, Christians!

"Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up the battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint."
- Collect for Ash Wednesday ( from the new translation of the Roman Missal, coming Advent of 2011)

Wow. This prayer really makes you think about the spiritual struggle and holy fighting we have to do as Christians here on earth. After all, we (the part of the Church alive at this time) are called the Church Militant, those who are still "fighting the good fight" and, with God's help, are working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Sometimes, the fighting really gets fierce. In Lent, we are entering just such a time.

We cannot forget that there is a very real war going on - a spiritual war. Our weapons are prayer and fasting. Our objective is the salvation of our souls. We can only win through diligence, perseverance and a good dose of suffering... and only through the merits of Christ Jesus. The prayer above is perfectly suited to remind us of this spiritual reality. It is war, and everything is on the line.


By the way, I almost titled this post "Reason #23,127 that we need the new translation of the Roman Missal" because instead of the stirring words we read above, prodding us onward into the necessary spiritual battle to come and asking for God's assistance in our struggle, today at Mass we heard this:

"Father in heaven, protect us in our struggle against evil. As we begin the discipline of Lent, make the season holy by our self-denial."
- Collect for Ash Wednesday (from the current version of the Roman Missal)

Thanks be to God for improvements like this in the Church's liturgy!