Augustine offers words of encouragement for Lent

I had occasion to spend some time in Augustine’s ENCHIRDION and found these encouraging words in chapter 64:

“But the angels even now are at peace with us when our sins are pardoned.  Hence, in the order of the Creed, after the mention of the Holy Church is placed the remission of sins. For it is by this that the Church on earth stands: it is through this that what had been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again. For, setting aside the grace of baptism, which is given as an antidote to original sin, so that what our birth imposes upon us, our new birth relieves us from (this grace, however, takes away all the actual sins also that have been committed in thought, word, and deed): setting aside, then, this great act of favor, whence commences man’s restoration, and in which all our guilt, both original and actual, is washed away, the rest of our life from the time that we have the use of reason provides constant occasion for the remission of sins, however great may be our advance in righteousness.”

We may, as he goes on to say, be in constant conflict with “this body of death,” but the one who is with us is far greater. Hopeful, helpful words as we continue through the “bright darkness” that is Lent.

 

avatar

About Fr. Peay

I am a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and Associate Professor of Church History/Field Education Director at Nashotah House Theological Seminary. FLOREAT NASHOTAH (May Nashotah Flourish) is my first attempt at blogging and will focus on reflections on theological education, spirituality, and, from time-to-time, thoughts on the Church and its role today. I am married and have two step-sons.