The Paschal Mystery is above all the mystery of life in which the Church, by celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ, enters into the Kingdom of Life which He has established once for all by His definitive victory over sin and death. We must remember the original meaning of Lent, as the ver sacrum, the Church’s “holy spring” in which the catechumens were prepared for their baptism, and public penitents were made ready by penance for their restoration to the sacramental life in a communion with the rest of the Church. Lent is then not a season of punishment so much as one of healing.
THOMAS MERTON, SEASONS OF CELEBRATION, 113
Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent
BECOMING A MATURE CHRISTIAN
We must be able to put aside the “economic” concern with our superficial selves, and emerge into the open light of the Christian polis where each one lives not for himself but for others, taking upon himself the responsibility for the whole. Of course no one assumes this responsibility merely in obedience to arbitrary whim or to the delusion that he is of himself capable of taking the troubles of the whole Assembly on his own shoulders. But he emerges “in Christ” to share the labor and worship of the whole Christ, and in order to do this he must sacrifice his own superficial and private self. The paradoxical fruit of this sacrifice of his trivial and “selfish” (or simply immature) self is that he is then enabled to discover his deep self, in Christ.
THOMAS MERTON, SEASONS OF CELEBRATION, 25