Latest News

Tag: spirituality

Lenten Messages and Vincentian Spirituality

Lenten Observances and the Vincentian Duties (Article 2/2)

….by John Chongkon Aniya.

Lent also referred to as Quadragesima ‘fortieth’ in Latin is the period whereby Christian religious practitioners commemorate the forty(40) days in which Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert and enduring temptation by Satan and also includes the period of His death which serve as the foundation of Christianity. Lent is observed by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Methodist and many other traditions of Christianity.
In the Catholic Church particularly, Lent is celebrated with the omission of the Gloria, Alleluia and also veiling of Holy images used. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday in the Western rites and on clean Monday in the Eastern rites and lasted until evening of Holy Saturday. Sundays may or may not be excluded depending on the denomination. These period of Lent normal ends with a great celebration of Easter.

Lenten Observances

Three major activities are normally observed during the period of Lent. They are prayers, fasting
and almsgiving.

Prayer is a way of communicating with God and growing in a good relationship with Him. Engaging in prayers especially during this Lenten season help to reduce stress, decreases blood pressure and heart rate psychologically. It gives an opportunity for someone to express his/her innermost fear to God Almighty by so doing, it removes the piled up challenges in the heart and mind thereby increasing mental health of an individual. It also increases empathy in human views which let to knowledge and understanding. Prayers are offered to God Almighty in different ways and circumstances; through adoration, confession, Thanksgiving and petition. All through this processes, a close communication and abjuration with God is achieved.

Fasting is one of the major ingredients during the period of Lent. It involves abstaining from something to reduce distraction and focus on what is more desirable which is closeness to God.
In fasting we have a clear path to God (Daniel9:3), through fasting shows our sorrow for the  sins we are committing(1Samuel7:6), we learned about humility, self control, save time and resources, develop intentionality and help us control excesses in life. In fasting, we are able to fight the devil, rediscover God purpose in our life, strengthen our connection with God and also help us to avoid the calamities in life we live.

Almsgiving and Vincentian duties.

Lenten season call for making the need of others our priority, therefore, the need for almsgiving. The burden we carry in observance of fasting, help us to appreciate the suffering of others. Thereby when we share our possession with others shows the beginning of the Christian faith we practice. Almsgiving does not mean it is done for the benefit of the poor only, it also benefit us too, it assist us in conversion of our heart and also grow our freedom in existence. Therefore, the need for Vincentian duties especially in the Lenten season. Vincentians are known for their charitable show case and compassion to their masters the poor. This act mostly is by direct assistance with food, clothes, shoes, caring for the homeless, providing social housing and even go further in providing self sufficiency in a
community, which enable people to help themselves and be independent. At this period of Lent, it is a duty for Vincentians to practice their calling sufficiently and in glorification to God Almighty. They are to do more in fighting for social justice and also seeking to transform the cause of poverty, this is mostly in advocacy for good leadership by those in position of power.

Vincentians are called upon to remember the frequent slogan which admonishes their services “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me” says the Lord.

In this period of Lent, we are call upon to be the light of the world by been an exemplary figure (Ephesians 5:8-14) admonishes us to be different, we should get rid of darkness and carry light to wherever we go. During this period of Lent, through our prayers, fasting and almsgiving signify the presence of light of God in us, therefore it is a duty for us to take this light and shine the world bright through our love, sacrifices, humility, discipline and faith which truly show the Christ-like nature in us.

Lenten Messages and Vincentian Spirituality

Lenten Observances and the Vincentian Duties (Article 1/2)

by Sis Akinsola Miriam Bosede.

The Lenten season of the catholic faith is characterized by Mercy and this mercy comes from Christ who endures
the Cross to give us freedom and show us how to relate with one another. Lenten season
begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday also known as the mass of the Lord’s
supper. The ash used on Ash Wednesdays are a reminder of how unworthy and sorry we are as faithful and
also the fact that we came from dust and to dust we shall return. This season is also a call to
reconciliation and repentance to God. As Vincentian the Lenten season should be a moment of
reawakening and rededication of ourselves to God and our vocation since the word of God
makes us understand that by arm shall no man prevail
Lenten observances are characterized by abstinence, prayer and alms giving. As a Vincentian it
is expected that during this season that I pray, give alms and recite my rosary so also is every
Christian but what makes us Vincentian outstanding is our ability and tendency to do all this and
more such as spreading the message of Christ’s mercy while at the same time creating faith in
the hearts of those we meet with love, simplicity, humbleness and being zealous.
Being faithful to our vocation of selflessness service to the poor and ones in need is of utmost
importance and at such we must always remember that the specific purpose for this is, for the
salvation of the poor ones who have been forgotten and abandoned by the society because just
like the priest we have been sent to proclaim the good news of salvation in words and by our actions as commanded by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when he said “Go ye into the world and proclaim the good
news to the poor”.

Thus we share in the mission and vision of Christ and the church in
evangelization and being a neighbour and friend to the poor. To them we are the image of the
invisible Christ. This same virtues was shown by our patron saint; St. Vincent de Paul.

Who in following Christ dedicated himself to the service of the poor and their needs. Therefore it is
expected that this Lenten season, we replicate what Christ did by caring for the Poor, providing
for their needs, helping them develop faith in God, consoling them in the moment when it’s
needed and directing them to the right path.
God has always at times have a special love for the Poor and we must perform our duties also
with love so that God may also love us on account of the love we show when we carry out our
Part of our duties this season is to visit the poor, the sick, the weak and those abandoned so we
learn and share in their sufferings so we can be able to offer our help and also pray for them
before God.
It is expected that at the end of this article, we should understand that the work of the poor are
to be treated with the utmost urgency and love and not be delayed because God does not look
at what we have done but the love with which we do them.

For whatsoever we do to the least of our brethren, that we do unto Christ!