by Fr. Carlo Magno Saa, FSSPX
The forty days preparation for Easter has just begun. In old English, “lencten” means springtime; daylight gradually lengthens. In modern English, however, lento means slow music. So, etymologically, Lent is the springtime of virtues, the slowing down of vices and the lengthening of prayer and penance. If we observe these generously, we can hope for some real spiritual transformation by Eastertime.
Unfortunately, like most opportunities, we often take Lent for granted. In this centenary year, let us heed Our Lady of Fatima’s urgent request by sincerely amending our lives. For that, we must slow down and focus our efforts in one particular vice or bad inclination. But, that is impossible without God’s grace. So, we need to beg them by lengthening our prayers – intensifying rather than multiplying them.
Yet, even with our best efforts, we cannot always win our spiritual battle. Shall we just give up? God forbid! Virtue is perfected in weakness. If ever we shall fall again during Lent, let us not be discouraged easily, but stand up and begin again – redoubling our voluntary penances. Like fasting, our pilgrimage is already a penance in itself.
However, we cannot leave our minds and hearts empty. We need to plant the opposite virtue of the particular vice that we are fighting. Thank God, all supernatural virtues are connected by charity! So, if we practice one of them, we are, in fact, practicing all of them. Therefore, let us be slow to vice but fast to virtue!