From the Melkite weekday services in Lent, known as the Presanctified Liturgy, the closing prayer:
ALMIGHTY LORD who created the whole universe in wisdom; who by your ineffable providence and great goodness have brought us to these salutary days for the purification of our souls and bodies, for the control of our passions and for hope in the resurrection; You who after forty days gave Moses, your servant, the tablets of the law inscribed by your divine hands: enable us also, O Good One, to fight the good fight, to run the course of the fast, to keep the faith, to crush the heads of the invisible dragons, to come out victorious over sin and to attain without reproach unto the worship of your holy resurrection.
For blessed and glorified is your most honorable and magnificent name, Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
WOW! Crush the heads of invisible dragons? Awesome!
I want that! Don’t you?
Let’s unpack this powerful little prayer because within it, it appears to have a full catechism on lent. First, the prayer notes that God gave us “these salutary days” to accomplish goals. Those goals and purposes of Lent are:
- the purification of our souls and bodies
- the control of our passions
- hope in the resurrection
And then, here is what we ask God to give us — you might say that this is your TO-DO list for Lent:
- fight the good fight,
- to run the course of the fast,
- to keep the faith,
- to crush the heads of the invisible dragons,
- to come out victorious over sin, and
- to attain without reproach unto the worship of your holy resurrection
Have you done that in your past Lents? Did you know before that you could with God’s help? I think this prayer shows that the focus of instruction on Lent has sort of gone wishy-washy even today. For me, I prefer this traditional practice.
In my array of merit badges on the Heavenly scrolls, I’d like to at least have a mark towards “Crushed head of invisible dragon.” Don’t you want that too?
This article, Lent: Crush the heads of invisible dragons is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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About John B. Manos
John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benzinger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.