Monday, April 04, 2011


Laetare is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Below is the Collect of the Day for Laetare:

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

As I observe the historic liturgy of the Church, with the depth of riches that we have received through it, I often find myself wondering whether anyone really pays attention to what the Lord gives to us and declares to us through it.

This marvelous prayer holds before us the reason for Laetare, that is, for a Sunday within the season of Lent in which we are called together with the theme: Rejoice!

Lent is a season of the Church Year in which we direct special attention to our need for the repentance or turning that the Lord works for us and within us. It is a season of deep awareness of the proper contrition that we should experience on account of our sinfulness and also for our actual sins both of commission and omission. It is a season in which the Law of God is held before us in ways that cannot easily be ignored, showing us the horrible depths of our lost condition. It is a season in which our need for salvation, for forgiveness, for reconciliation, for justification and sanctification, is made paramount. It is a season for looking to the great mercy of God in Christ displayed and brought to fulfillment in the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Collect for Laetare very powerfully directs our hearts, minds, and souls to this ever needful awareness. It also produces in us Laetare, the rejoicing that is not deceptive, but founded in and upon the very foundation of the one true faith by which we have true cause for rejoicing. The comfort of God’s grace is truly our one reliable source of relief, relief that produces endless rejoicing in the Lord.

It certainly seems to be worthy of continual reflection throughout this week, praying it again and again so as to built up in the answer that God has promised and most assuredly bestows in Christ.

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1 comment:

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