On the first Sunday of Lent we read the story of Jesus’ temptations as he fasted in the wilderness. He had come down from heaven to show us the way of humility, but the devil tempted him to pride, self-exaltation, and the use of worldly power. Jesus defeated him, but the devil would return at the time of Christ’s passion - when he was finally defeated through Jesus’ death and resurrection. In Lent we are invited to fight against our own destructive egoism, using the traditional weapons the Church has always recommended: prayer, fasting and almsgiving (i.e., generosity to the poor).
Collect for Lent
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.