Writing Lent Dissertations

When examining the various liturgical seasons of the year, the one least likely to evoke any condition with a sense of joy is the Holy Season of Lent.From the experience of having ashes placed upon our foreheads on the first day of Lent straight through to the re-telling of the Passion and Death of Our Lord during the Holy Triduum, this season does not evoke a sense of joy.

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In the Divine Office, the monk encounters Jesus through the praying of the Psalter and the readings.

The Office of Readings enables the monk to reflect upon the writings of earlier generations and helps to instill that sense of joy and hope which will allow us to continue with our Lenten observances knowing that they will lead us to Holy Easter.

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.

There is a Church teaching which states, “” (the law of praise constitutes the law of belief) which means that what we belief as monks should be discernable to anyone by virtue of how we pray. Benedict makes very few references to the celebration of Mass, the Divine Office is held up as of paramount importance to us.

The Divine Office is referred to the Work of God () and it is unlike any other form of prayer.

The Season of Advent evokes a sense of joy as we await the birth of the Savior at Christmas, the Christmas season has a great deal of joy attached to it and the Season of Easter is joyful due to the fact that we celebrate Our Savior’s rising from the dead as well as the beauty of the Springtime. Benedict makes reference to the observance of Lent in the monastery in Chapter 49. Benedict instructing his monks that our life is to be a constant Lent; however, since most do not have the virtue to be able to live like this daily, he instructs us to make use of the opportunity we have during Lent by keeping our lives most pure and thereby washing away the negligences of other times.

Monks are encouraged to increase their measure of giving during this time through abstinence in food and drink as well as devoting more time to private prayer.

There is a long history of experiencing joy in suffering within the Christian tradition. Joy gets us out of ourselves and it touch with this “Other” and with others.

Joy can sustain us through the various stages of life. Matthew’s Gospel we read that when the Pharisees fasted they “disfigured their faces” (Mt.


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