Entrance to Church of the Holy Cross at St. Leo Abbey, Florida
[Click picture to enlarge]
I tried to observe the seasons of Lent, Easter and Pentecost with as much concentration as I had. During Lent I tried a mild fast — the first I had ever done. The result was that I have seen first hand why Christians fast — ascesis (rigorous training, self-discipline, or self-restraint) and penance and "mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart."1 Those reasons fit well in the monastic purposes of the Rule of St. Benedict — from the Prologue:
To you, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever you may be, who are renouncing your own will to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King, and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.And I have a better understanding of the importance of Pentecost as beginning the age in which we live. I like using The Monastic Diurnal because it describes the current part of the liturgical calendar as "weeks after Pentecost."2
I am better able to see the relation of today to Pentecost and also its link to Easter and Lent and Christmas when I mark the time as the weeks after Pentecost.
1. From Paragraph 2043 of the Catechism
2. Here are some of my blogs comparing "The Monastic Diurnal" and "Benedictine Daily Prayer."