Lenten Quotes from the Church Fathers

February 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

“And though every day a man lives may rightly be a day of repentance, yet is it in these days more becoming, more appropriate, to confess our sins, to fast, and to give alms to the poor; since in these days you may wash clean the sins of the whole year.”
– St. John Chrysostom – “The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers”

§ 2 Responses to Lenten Quotes from the Church Fathers

  • Donald Gerardi says:

    Theologically, I don’t get it.

  • Julia Alberino says:

    I may have this a little twisted, since I’m remembering from per-Vatican 2 childhood. There was an RC rule when I was growing up–maybe still is–“to confess our sins at least once a year.” People referred to that confession with associated reception of Eucharist (see below) as the “Easter duty,” since it was generally done during Lent by people who only went to confession once a year. Many, of course, went to confession more often. The rule was associated with another one: “to receive Holy Communion during Easter time.” There was no requirement about when the confession was to be made, but since confessing was associated with receiving communion, Lent or the period immediately after Easter may have made sense . I wonder if the practice of making the yearly confession during Lent traced back to the sermon of John Crysostom. Theologically it makes little sense that confessing, fasting, and giving alms to the poor during Lent should have more value than doing so at other times of the year. Traditionally, it does make some sense, however.

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