WDTPRS – Ember Saturday in Lent – (1962MR)

There are several Collects in today’s extended edition of Holy Mass for Ember Saturday. There are five lessons before we even get to the Epistle and each lesson is followed by a Gradual and Collect.

After the the fifth lesson, the same as that for Ember Saturday of Advent (in case anyone doubted that Advent is a penitential season) about the three young men in the fiery furnace, and then the hymn of thanksgiving from Daniel, we have this:

Deus, qui tribus pueris mitigasti flammas ignium:
concede propitius; ut nos famulos tuos
non exurat flamma vitiorum.

O God, who tamed the flames of the fires for the three young men,
mercifully grant that the flame of vices
not consume us your servants

St. Thomas Aquinas taught that one of the reasons the Lord went into the desert and permitted Himself to be tempted was to teach us that none of us are free from temptation.

Even those who are spiritually advanced experience the testing of temptations. Even seemingly small sins can be serious indeed when a person is well-along the spiritual road.

The enemy of the soul has bested better than you.

The world, the flesh and the devil exert their incessant pressures.

Let no one think he is immune to temptation.

If you give in to a particular temptation repeatedly, sin repeatedly in a certain way, you develop a habit of that sin. That habit, the opposite of a virtue, is a vice.

With clear and even brutal honesty examine yourselves for vicious habits. “Vicious” is the adjective related to “vice”.

If you can’t picture your vices as if they were a burning fire about to sear the flesh from your bones and fry your guts, then perhaps the image of a pack of “vicious” animals might do.

We must be vigilant and disciplined and ask the help of Almighty God, especially during our annual Lenten discipline.

This is war.

A vice can destroy you, consume your soul like fire. Many vices, greater danger.

To rid yourself of one habit (a vice) you must drive it out with another habit (a virtue) or at least some beneficial activity.

Identify your habitual fault. Watch yourself for the recognizable patterns leading to the sins. Form a plan of what you are going to do ahead of time.

Repeat the process until you have a new habit that won’t destroy your soul and which will be pleasing to God and edifying to your neighbor.

Stay close to the sacraments.

Do not forget that you have an angel guardian. Thank him and ask him for help throughout the day.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mark of the Vine says:

    IS today’s Ember Day commemorated given that it is St. Joseph’s feast day?

  2. twherge says:

    Mark: as far as I can gather from reading the tables, it is, and so I commemorated it after the collect at Lauds this morning (as posted on my website in the Divine Office section) This WOULD be a great day for ordinations: ember day AND St. Joseph, and, being Saturday, Mary, too.

  3. Flambeaux says:

    According to the Ordo published by the FSSP and my understanding of how the tables of precedence work, today is the Feast of St. Joseph with a Commemoration of Ember Saturday.

  4. ckdexterhaven says:

    Father Z, thank you for posting this. I appreciate the advice in regards to fighting my vices with virtues. This is one of your best.posts.ever!

  5. digdigby says:

    “Vicious” from “vice” – I never knew that and well worth remembering.
    Bertie Wooster, the famed bible scholar could have told you the names of the three young Hebrews: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

  6. fieldsparrow says:

    One of Father’s homilies this week (Monday, maybe?) was on praying to God to help us to identify the source of our sins, our vices. I think I know what my major source is, and this is a great reminder to ask for the help of my guardian angel. Thank you, Fr. Z.

  7. UncleBlobb says:

    Thank you for your clear and concise method on how to overcome a Vice. It is quite timely for me today. I am also going to research the opposite virtues of vices in order to apply them for my specific cases. God bless you, Fr. Z.

  8. Mariana says:

    “Bertie Wooster, the famed bible scholar ”

    Oh, yes, Bertie received a prize in Scripture knowledge at school!

  9. Jenny bag of donuts says:

    Our family’s guardian angels: Silva, Helen, Felix, Jimbo, Vanessa, Christopher and Gertrude.

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