Laetare means Rejoice! It is the first word of the Introit (opening song) of the Mass. What is there, you ask, to rejoice about? Is it merely the recognition that Lent is half done? That may be part of the reason, but I fear that with most Catholics doing little to nothing during Lent anymore, there’s little concern about being freed from fasting or from other penitential practices that aren’t being done in the first place. Even so, the deeper reason for being glad about this point in Lent is that we are the closer to Easter, the time when we will relive with Christ the joy of His resurrection.
In a related way, we are also to be glad in that Lent’s practices are accomplishing their intended purposes in firming up our Christian life and in making reparation for our sins. I make my complaint again: one can’t get happy (Laetare) over this if no penances have been done. Without Lent, without discipline and the austerities appropriate to the season, there will be so much less the experience of rejoicing. That’s a tough message to sell nowadays. People want what they want when they want it. Without self-denial, however, there will be no contrast in the Christian life that will make one have a deeper appreciation of its joys. It’s those who know how to do penance who get the most delight out of being a Christian, and maybe out of life in general.
"Our help is in the name of the Lord..."
May our prayers rise to heaven and be as pleasing to God as the sweet smell of incense.
"What shall I render to the Lord for all He hath rendered unto me? I will take the Chalice of Salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord. Praising, I will call upon the Lord and I shall be saved from my enemies."
" Ecce, Angus Dei..."
Te Deum Laudamus! Home