The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Friday after Ash Wednesday

Date: 
Fri, 02/20/2015
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Many things in life today are automatic.
Automatic transmission.  Automatic washer and dryer. 
Automatic car starter.  Automatic parallel parking.
Automatic braking.  Automatic sweepers.
Automatic farm equipment.  Automatic doors. Automatic billing.
Automatic bank payments.  Automatic computer backup.
Automatic software upgrades. 
We readily embrace what is automatic.  It makes life that much easier.
 
Unfortunately some of our bad behaviors have become automatic.
We don’t take time to think or consider consequences or wait to collect pertinent information.
 
Today’s gospel talks about fasting.  Something we take to heart during the Season of Lent.
Our eating has become automatic.  And not just our eating.
The satisfaction of most if not all of our human hungers has become automatic, unconscious.
More than that, our sensual longing for objects, for persons, for experiences
has become perpetual, unending with little concern for reasonable limitation.
We’ve stopped thinking about how we are satisfying our hungers, our personal cravings.
We no longer maintain self-established limitations and proper boundaries.
We become selfish and don’t even know it.
We unreflectively put a high value on our satiety.
We can’t bear to feel hunger….it’s too unpleasant.
We’ve come to believe that this is what life is supposed to be…
the satisfaction of our hungers.
 
The consequences are many:  inflated expectations,  the absence of appreciation,
we become demanding;  we sell our souls to the god of prosperity;
we’re unwilling to tolerate lean times….we feel deprived;
we lose a sense of what is sacred and holy;
we adopt unrealistic attitudes and assumptions;
our thoughts about entitlement easily override what little guilt is stirred;
we lose a sense reverence for our own humanity and for God’s created order of things.
 
I believe the roots of this sin (the church fathers call this sin “concupiscence”)
is to be found in spiritual ignorance.  This in turn leads us to say:
“I have fallen….but I don’t want to get up.  I don’t need to get up.”
 
To embrace Lent as a spiritual enterprise is to say
“I have fallen, O Lord.  I have sinned.  And I can’t get up by myself.
I stretch out my hand to you from my fallen state. 
Hoping you will take my hand and pull me to you.”
The purpose of our Lenten journey is reset our limits… cultivate the virtue of reverence;
to restore proper, moral, boundaries;  put spiritual checks and balances on our choices; 
to integrate into our minds and hearts a healthy fear of getting every worldly thing we want.
 
The Season of Lent reminds us: a life of faith is never automatic!