Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts

During Great Lent, the Church calls us to celebrate the Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts on Wednesdays and Fridays. So, today we are preparing our hearts to receive the Pre-sanctified Gifts this evening. Besides being a spiritual “boost” for us during the rigorous spiritual labors of Great Lent, the Pre-sanctified liturgy does something else. It calls us to remember the catechumens (those lear…ning and converting to the faith) and to pray for them. The catechumens of our parish are preparing themselves for reception into the Church on Holy Saturday of this year, and the Pre-sanctified Liturgy reminds us to pray for them, and, like them and in solidarity with them, we are also renewing our spiritual commitments to actively practice the faith. Listen to one of the prayers for the catechumens from tonight’s service: “O God, our God, Author and Creator of all things, it is Your will that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Look upon Your servants the Catechumens, and free them of ancient error and from the wiles of the enemy. Call them to eternal life, illuminating their souls and bodies, and numbering them among Your reasoning flock, on which Your holy name is invoked.” To be sure, this prayer could be prayed for all of us. Asking the Holy Spirit to free us from ancient errors and the wiles of the enemy should remind us all that we are always perpetual learners of the faith. All of us are converts to the faith. All of us must make a continual reaffirmation of our participation in the faith. The fact is, a life of faith will never be able to be on “automatic pilot.” The very nature of the faith calls us to attentive participation and active cultivation of a purposeful lifestyle of faith. This natural vision of forever learning and never falling into the illusion of “well, I’m finished learning” will constantly enable us to go ever deeper into the wisdom and beauty of our faith. So, today, pray for those who are going to enter the Church on Holy Saturday this year, and, at the same time, renew your own purposeful commitment to always enter more deeply into the “faith, once for all delivered to the saints.” After all, we always have more to learn and practice ourselves. We are all catechumens. At least we should be.

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