Lenten Meditations: Monday 15 March

Mar 15, 2021 by

Mon
Mar 15
am: 89:1-18
pm: 89:19-52
Jer 16:10-21 Rom 7:1-12 John 6:1-15

 

MONDAY OF LENT IV- ECUMENICAL NOTE Clean Monday on the Eastern Orthodox Calendar

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: Today we remember, our brothers and sisters in the eastern tradition of the Church as they mark the beginning of the Great Lent which always falls on the 7th Monday before Orthodox Easter. Also called Clean Monday or Pure Monday, this religious observance is a day of fasting and spiritual purification and reflection, similar to our Ash Wednesday of the Western Church. Eight days ago, Eastern Christians observed Meatfare Sunday, the last time observant Christians will eat meat until Pascha (Easter). One day ago, was Cheesefare Sunday, when Eastern Christians consume dairy products for the last time. Today, Orthodox families begin the fast of Great Lent with “clean” foods and a cleansed state of mind.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: In the New Testament Lesson, Paul reminds us that the real problem human beings face is not with the Law in itself; the problem is in man, namely US. He claims that we have a bondage to sin and death which makes us incapable of observing the Law. The Law, remaining external to man, did not alter him within. Grace, he argues is all that can alter man from within. Paul is mindful (as a former Pharisee) of the inherent tension between the faith, individual conscience the rule of law which as many a canonist will tell you has never and perhaps will never completely resolve in the balance of faith and order in religious law.

BUT that is not what Paul is wrestling with here, for in today’s lesson St Paul writes to Roman Christians who knew and lived under the law created by the Roman state and reminded them that faith in Christ replaces secular law with a quest for salvation (Romans 7:1-12 and 10:1-11). It is hard to remember that church law/ecclesiastical law or canon law is devised to complement that quest. It does have its role as perhaps St. Isidore realized when he was trying to insure the faith in a time of great theological and pastoral opposition.

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  O Lord and Master of my life, take from me a spirit of idleness, and give me, humble-mindedness, patience, and love., Grant me to see my failings and not condemn others. This day “O God, cleanse me a sinner.” AMEN

 

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: Since the only thing which is in our power is volition — and it is herein that our mind toward God is put to proof, whether we will the things which coincide with His will. “– Tertullian

 

Lenten DisciplineOn this day when our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Tradition observe the concept of a Pure Day and pure week. Seek out purity throughout the day. Only eat and drink pure things. Only say pure words and act with pure intentions.

 

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