instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The gladness of spiritual desire

Summa Minutiae quotes St. Benedict on Lent:
Let us devote ourselves to tearful prayers, to reading and compunction of heart, and to abstinence.

During these days, therefore, let us add something to the usual amount of our service, special prayers, abstinence from food and drink, that each one offer to God "with the joy of the Holy Ghost" (1 Thes 1:6), of his own accord, something above his prescribed measure; namely, let him withdraw from his body somewhat of food, drink, sleep, speech, merriment, and with the gladness of spiritual desire await holy Easter.
Compunction of heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Withdrawal from merriment with gladness.

The canonical story is that the fast of Lent is followed by the feast of Easter. St. Benedict shows that Lent itself can be a time of feasting, if you do it right.