INTROITUS: 1st Sunday of Lent

Invocabit me, et ego exaudiam eum: eripiam eum, et glorificabo eum: longitudine dierum adimplebo eum.

“He will call upon me, and I will answer him, I will deliver him and give him honor. I will satisfy him with length of days.” (Ps 91(90):15–16)

The genius of the 1st Sunday of Lent does not lie in the introit alone, but in the composition of all the proper chants: All of them are taken from Psalm 91 (90), which is the great psalm of trust that the Roman liturgy uses in every Sunday Compline (and used to use in the daily Compline for about 1500 years, until Pius X changed the Compline psalms from a daily to a weekly cycle in 1912).

Lent is a time of trust, not fear. It is trust, not fear, that gives us the power to change our lives whenever necessary.

The highest note in this introit is reached in the stressed syllable of the word glorificabo, “I will give him honor.” Lent is our time to understand where our honor is rooted: in God alone, who gives us life and protects us against all enemies, in the world and within ourselves. This is what comes first and what makes us capable of starting the next step: to train ourselves in good deeds.

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