Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
As she awaits the definitive encounter with her Spouse in the eternal Easter, the Church community, assiduous in prayer and charitable works, intensifies her journey in purifying the spirit, so as to draw more abundantly from the Mystery of Redemption the new life in Christ the Lord...
This very life was already bestowed upon us on the day of our Baptism, when we "become sharers in Christ's death and Resurrection", and there began for us "the joyful and exulting adventure of His disciples" (homily 1/10/2010).
Baptism is not a rite from the past, but the encounter with Christ, which informs the entire existence of the baptized, imparting divine life and calling for sincere conversion; initiated and supported by Grace, it permits the baptized to reach the adult stature of Christ.
A particular connection binds Baptism to Lent as the favorable time to experience this saving Grace.
Lent offers us a path like that of the catechumenate, which, for the Christians of the early Church, just as for catechumens today, is an irreplaceable school of faith and Christian life. Truly they live their Baptisms as an act which shapes their entire existence.
The Lenten journey finds its fulfillment in the Paschal triduum, especially in the Great Vigil of the Holy Night: renewing our baptismal promises, we reaffirm that Chist is the Lord of our life, that life which God bestowed upon us when we were reborn of "water and the Holy Spirit", and we profess again our firm commitment to respond to the action of the Grace in order to be His disciples.
By immersing ourselves into the death and resurrection of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are moved to free our hearts every day fro the burden of material things, from a self-centered relationship with the "world" that improvishes us and prevents us from being available and open to God and our neighbor.
... Through the personal encounter with our Redeemer and through fasting, almsgiving and prayer, the journey of conversion towards Easter leads us to rediscover our Baptism.
(Source: Message for Lent, 11/4/2010)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com