Writing Lent Dissertations

Renewing in grateful remembrance the Lord’s covenant sacrifice, the community as a whole celebrates the deepest dimension of its existence and purpose.

Communing in the body and blood of Christ, the monastic family confesses and experiences the mystery of faith and hope, while fraternal unity is fostered and strengthened.6 It is important to keep in mind that no individual monk is doing this on his own.

It is not to be found either in the Rule of the Master or in a number of monastic rules which preceded St. In the search for happiness the individual focuses upon him or herself, but joy moves a person out of a self-centered pre-occupation and provides an orientation towards others.

Benedict and which served him as sources when he wrote his Rule.1 However, this does not mean that his original contribution is antithetical to monastic tradition. He instructs his followers that “You became followers of us and the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word of joy in the Holy Spirit.”Since joy is one of the gifts offered to us by the Holy Spirit, it is only fitting that He should be mentioned, even though the Holy Spirit receives very little mention throughout the Rule of St. Joy is an experience which connects us to the creative power that is more than the “I” or ego.

When there is physical suffering or moral depression, the enemy is never far behind; however, neither is God or His angels.”3 There is no amount of suffering that we can go through during Lent which Our Lord did not go through as well.

It is essential to keep in mind that our experience of Lent unites us with the forty days of temptation which Our Lord experienced in the wilderness, as well as, one day representing each year that the Jewish people spent wandering in the desert in search of the Promised Land.

The Work of God is a prayer that transcends every other kind of prayer.

It is distinguished from them all because it’s specific character is the celebration of the mystery of Christ.

We are also encouraged to curtail our sleeping, drinking, food, idle talk, and jesting during this time as we prepare for the Holy Season of Easter with the joy of spiritual desire.

It is not a common practice for most people to associate penance and mortification with joy; however, this is exactly what St. We are instructed do all these things with “the joy of the Holy Spirit”. Benedict’s recommendation of joy in Lent, both as an offering something extra with the joy of the Holy Spirit and waiting Holy Easter with the joy of spiritual desire, is an original contribution to Western monastic literature. There is a direct connection between joy and happiness; however, joy has a much deeper significance.


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