O Lord, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights: give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness and true holiness, to thy honour and glory; who livest and reignest with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Collect for the First Sunday in Lent, Divine Worship: The Missal.
‘As members of Him who was tempted and conquered, as united to “One that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” let us bravely and confidently meet all trials and face all temptations, enduring and vanquishing them in union with our Lord’s endurance of and victory over every seduction of the devil. Then, in correspondence with His grace, in imitation of His example, shall we find ourselves, in Him, “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” May the commencement of another Lent, to be spent with Christ, apart from the world and its pleasures and associations, recall us to the realisation of our baptismal privileges and obligations. “We receive this child into the congregation of Christ’s flock, and do sign him with the sign of the cross, in token that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under His banner, against sin, the world, and the devil; and to continue Christ’s faithful soldier and servant unto his life’s end.”
Lent is a call, year by year, to realise our sonship in Christ, to put our baptismal grace and endowments to their own proper use. In times of stress and temptation we are not to fall into a panic of hopelessness or despair, but to draw upon the grace of God, first bestowed in Holy Baptism, strengthened and increased in Confirmation, and continually renewed in Holy Communion. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way to escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” And, finally, “He hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My power is made perfect in weakness.”’
Vernon Staley, 1852-1933
Fr Lee Kenyon