At the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts that is celebrated on Wednesday and Friday nights during Great Lent, we hear this phrase, “to obtain the goal of this Lenten Season.” What is this goal?
In a grand sense the goal is spiritual change or perhaps a spiritual awakening through abstinence, fasting, prayer, vigils, confession and other spiritual exercises. But is there something more?
We turn to the First Prayer of the Faithful again from the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts where we read,
O great Lord and God! You have led us from corruption to imperishable life through the life-giving death of your Christ. So, now, deliver our senses from the mortal tyranny of our passion and place them under the safe and able guidance of our inner reason. Let not our eyes wander in search of evil sights, not our ears indulge in listening to idle talk. Cleanse our tongues from unbefitting speech, O Lord, and purify our lips that they may praise you. Keep our hands from evil deeds and make them ever ready to do only the things that please you. Do this, Lord, by strengthening our understanding, and, indeed, our entire being by your grace.
This prayer is the entire goal of not just the Lenten season but of every season of our lives. Keeping our passions under the rational control is what the spiritual life is all about and we do this by practicing our faith.
As we continue our Lenten journey let’s make this prayer a daily exercise and strive to live up to what is asks of God.