Sunday Reflection by Fr. Peter Stamm, Professor
“No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.”
In just a few days, the Church’s annual spring training begins again on Ash Wednesday. The diverse works of Lent all converge in a single purpose - to mold us in the likeness of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. In the waters of Baptism, each of us was reborn by grace and called to reflect the image of God in the midst of the world. Although this divine image remains always imprinted upon our souls no matter what, its luster may dim due to habits of sin and the daily negligence which creep into the rhythms of life. The forty days of Lent offer us a vital opportunity to restore our minds and hearts by grace to pristine splendor, so that they may be a beautiful dwelling place for the Holy Trinity.
This lofty goal is accomplished by humble and simple means - prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Writing in the fifth century, Pope St. Leo the Great exhorted the Church to embrace these ordinary disciplines which yield extraordinary spiritual outcomes. “Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at all times should be done now with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin.”
On this last pre-Lenten Sunday, we ask God for the grace to choose resolutions which will truly serve the purpose of reforming our hearts. We look to Jesus and, in contemplating His goodness, we search out those areas of our lives which do not yet correspond fully to the baptismal dignity which was bestowed upon us. Bringing these aspects of weakness and resistance into the light, we implore our Teacher to open us to the healing remedies He wishes to bestow this Lent.Lenten Reflections