14 March 2010

Fourth Sunday in Lent

"Ascend, ascend, Brethren."

Today in the Eastern Catholic tradition we are reminded of the "Soul-saving and Heavenward Ladder" described by St. John Climacus in the seventh century.

The ladder reminds us that union with God -- theosis, or sanctification -- is a process. No one can climb the ladder in one stride, St. John reminds us, the virtues lead from one to the other. Since the work was originally written for monastics it should be read carefully under spiritual direction.

Meanwhile, over in Rome....

Today's Collect:

Father of peace, we are joyful in your Word, your Son Jesus Christ, who reconciles us to you. Let us hasten to our Easter with the eagerness of faith and love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Many Roman priests wear rose vestments today. The fourth Sunday of Lent is traditionally called "Laetare Sunday", a day of hope and rejoicing that Easter is almost here.

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