Sermon quotes on lent
Self-denial means knowing only Christ, and no longer oneself. It means seeing only Christ, who goes ahead of us, and no longer the path that is too difficult for us… . Self-denial is saying only: He goes ahead of us; hold fast to him.
The Lenten Spring Has Come!
The Light of Repentance!
O Brothers, let us cleanse ourselves from all evil,
Crying out to the Giver of Life
‘Glory to Thee, O Lover of Man!’
For lent I gave up Catholicism
Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves… What is it that stands between us and God? Between us and our brothers and sisters? Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, without a moment’s hesitation.
There are two things to be aware of if the fight against evil inclinations is to have any chance of success. First, our efforts will never be sufficient on their own. Only the grace of Christ can win us the victory. Therefore our chief weapons are prayer, patience, and hope. Second, one passion can only be cured by another – a misplaced love by a greater love, wrong behavior by right behavior that makes provisions for the desire underlying the wrongdoing, recognizes the conscious or unconscious needs that seek fulfillment and either offers them legitimate satisfaction or transfers them to something compatible with the person’s calling.
Ephraim the Syrian
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to your servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sin and not to judge my brother,
for You are blessed from all ages to all ages. Amen.
Catherine of Genoa
Lenten fasts make me feel better, stronger, and more active than ever.
Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.
..a guilty suffering spirit is more open to grace than an apathetic or smug soul. Therefore, an age without a sense of sin, in which people are not even sorry for not being sorry for their sins, is in a serious predicament. Likewise an age with a Christianity so eager to forgive that it denies the need for forgiveness. For such an age, therefore, Lent can scarcely be too long!”
We all came from dust and to dust we shall return. Even the greatest and the richest people of this generation will be soon forgotten. Let us focus completely on God almighty.
Thomas á Kempis
Nothing, how little so ever it be, if it is suffered for God’s sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God.
Brian D. McLaren
These special holidays give rise to various liturgical calendars that suggest we should mark our days not only with the cycles of the moon and seasons, but also with occasions to tell our children the stories of our faith community’s past so that this past will have a future, and so that our ancient way and its practices will be rediscovered and renewed every year.”
Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, Thomas Nelson, 2008.
Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy, and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast.
As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.
Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.
We need to take time to connect with the poor, resist our unceasing cravings, and pray. But we also need to gather with friends and family, share in God’s good provision, eat delicious food, tell stories that encourage us all, and celebrate the risen Lord.”
Fulton J. Sheen
Lenten practices of giving up pleasures are good reminders that the purpose of life is not pleasure. The purpose of life is to attain to perfect life, all truth and undying ecstatic love – which is the definition of God. In pursuing that goal we find happiness. Pleasure is not the purpose of anything; pleasure is a by-product resulting from doing something that is good. One of the best ways to get happiness and pleasure out of life is to ask ourselves, ‘How can I please God?’ and, ‘Why am I not better?’ It is the pleasure-seeker who is bored, for all pleasures diminish with repetition.
For Lent this year, I’m just giving up.
You cannot be proud and expect to be transformed away from your sins. You need to humble yourself and have a spirit of repentance within you. Then you will see real change.
Guide me ever, great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore.
feed me now and evermore.
Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer, Stanza 1
Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.
The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives, HarperOne, 1999.
Remember that lent and ash Wednesday is not just about putting away the bad things. It is about creating good things and helping the poor and the needy, being kind to people and much more.
Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault-finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our illustrations page on Lent.