Monday, February 22, 2010

Lent: The Mysteries of Faith in Time.

From the very foundations of the earth Christ was crucified. Time itself is a deep mystery we cannot totally fathom, but we know that the very structure of time, like the structure of the universe itself was given to us by God that we may be one with Him. Because of His preknowledge of sin, God was slain, crucified from the beginning and set up the structure of time for OUR benefit and for our salvation.
The people of God, the Hebrews, had daily, weekly, monthly and yearly holy observations in the Old Testament that pointed to the Cross. These rituals included death to keep foremost in our hearts not only of the incredible horrors of sin and its consequences but to constantly prophesy what Christ was going to do at the cross: CONQUER sin and death. Everything about the ancient rituals repeated that time stopped for all living things. Sin had conquered eternal life. But there was hope. Within those rituals of death, there was always was the promise that death would not always reign, that a Savior was coming..... 
Today, as we look back at the Cross, we have weekly, monthly and yearly Holy observances that not only remind us of the victory at the cross but give us a foretaste of the Wedding Feast that awaits us upon the return of Christ. 
When he had given thanks, he broke it. He said, "This is my body. It is given for you. Every time you eat it, do it in memory of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup. He said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do it in memory of me." When you eat the bread and drink the cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again. I Corinthians 11: 24-26. 
As we participate in the daily/weekly/monthly Communion service, we ARE, by that very act, PROCLAIMING the Cross and the Second Coming! Now time, for us is forever--never ceasing because we are IN the Eternal God! We are His Immortal Body. 
We as Christians have a tradition of hourly, daily, weekly, seasonally and yearly traditions like in the Old Testament that are used to prophesy and keep us in the promise and hope of our Conquering King.
The Liturgy of the Hours
Through out the world there are faithful Christians praying the Liturgy of the Hours in order to fulfill the commands to pray without ceasing in I Thess. 5:17   and Eph. 6:18. Therefore the voice of the Bride is in continual communion with her Husband.
I find it so beautifully comforting to know that every moment of every day my soul is being prayed for by a group of the faithful worldwide. That there are, in a divine united harmony the hearts of nuns, priests, monks, laypeople, children, teens, adults, women and men of God are speaking the same words of petition for mercy in my behalf and in yours. Indeed in many places, not just the same words but songs are ascending to our Lord. The unity of prayers, songs and sermons all reverberating and repeating hour after hour along the world’s time zones create a oneness that places us all in the same Temple of God.
Holy Seasons
The seasons of the Liturgical year help the heart of the church to beat in rhythm. Time itself is set up to walk through the life of Christ during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Paschal/Easter. Lent is part of that sacred and mysterious heartbeat of the Church. Though it developed into deeper and more beautiful rituals as the church spread across the earth, it’s heart is the same as the heart of Jesus. 
Just as Christians need the spiritual discipline of regular prayers and Bible study, so the Catholic Church reminds us that the “Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” As the son daily reminds us of the Son, so the drift of the starts give us a monthly and yearly reminder of the mysteries of God. We have glorious little daily reminders of faith, monthly and yearly that keep us ever in contact with the eternal, the TIME of our SALVATION is always present.

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