Laetare Sunday - the
fourth Sunday of Lent. So called because of the first word from the
Latin Introit text which is translated “rejoice.” Rose vestments and
flowers are often used on this Sunday to express the joyful
anticipation of the resurrection; even the penitential seasons of
the Church have a theme of joy running through them. Lent is not a
sad season, but a season of sober reflection on the mystery of
Laity - All those baptized
faithful who are not in Holy Orders, or in some religious state of
life approved by the Church, are properly termed laity (‘apostolicam
actuositatem’) ‘Lumen Gentium’, the ‘Dogmatic
Constitution on the Church’, teaches that “the faithful who by
Baptism are incorporated into Christ, are placed in the People of
God, and in their own way share the priestly, prophetic and kingly
office of Christ, and to the best of their ability carry on the
mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the
Lamentations, The Book
of. - Five poems, written in the style of a dirge or
elegy, that tradition scribes to Jeremiah, to whose prophecy the
Septuagint and Vulgate attach them, though they are likely the work
of his disciples. They provide an answer for the believing Jews to
the complaints of those whose faith had weakened with the fall of
Jerusalem (586 B.C.); they declare that God has not abandoned His
Chosen People nor His covenant; infidelity to the covenant is the
cause for the punishment of the people with Jerusalem’s fall. The
Catholic liturgy appropriates these poems in the Office of Tenebrae,
celebrated during Holy Week to express the mourning of Christians
over the suffering and death of the Messiah.
Last Sacraments - The sacraments
that the faithful receive before death, namely penance, the
Eucharist (as Viaticum), and anointing of the sick.
Last Supper - The last
meal taken by Christ with his apostles, the night before his
Passion. On this occasion he instituted the Holy Eucharist and the
priesthood, and gave the apostles the long discourse on the Trinity
and Christian charity, as recorded by St. John. He then proceeded to
Gethsemane and the Agony in the Garden.
The meal Our Lord shared with the apostles the
night before His death. The meal is considered to have been a
Passover Meal which was celebrated solemnly by all Jewish people as
a commemoration of their deliverance from Egypt to freedom. Various
foods and wine were used at this meal to commemorate God’s presence
in the wondrous deeds of the past. Jesus transformed this meal into
a commemoration of His own Passover from death to resurrection. He
used bread and wine as the means through which His Passover was to
be commemorated. He commanded His apostles to continue to celebrate
this supper in memory of Him. This is the scriptural mandate for the
Christian Passover celebration which is commonly called the Mass or
Eucharist. This liturgy forms the center of Christian worship. The
manner of celebrating the Lord’s Supper may change, but it always
remains a meal form.
Latin - Originally the Italic
dialect of ancient Rome. It was the ordinary language of the Roman
Empire at the time of Christ, and Latin translations of the Bible
were made as early as the second century. The liturgy was also
celebrated in Latin (along with Coptic, Greek, and Ethiopic) since
apostolic times. Latin gradually became the official language of the
Western Church, and from the time of Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220) was
used extensively in theological writing. A historic change took
place at the Second Vatican Council, which declared that "the use of
the Latin language . . . is to be preserved in the Latin rite. But
since the use of the vernacular . . . may frequently be of great
advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it" in the
liturgy. (Constitution on the Liturgy, I, 36.) Since the
Council the Church continues to use Latin in her official documents,
requires the study of Latin by her future priests, and encourages
the use of Latin in those parts of the Mass that are sung or recited
by the people, e.g., the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster, and
Latria- The veneration due to God alone
for his supreme excellence and to show people's complete submission
to him. It is essentially adoration. As absolute latria, it is given
only to God, as the Trinity, or one of the Divine Persons, Christ as
God and as man, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Holy Eucharist.
Representations of God as images connected with the Divinity may
receive relative latria, which is given not to the symbol but to the
Godhead, whom it signifies.
Lazarus - A resident of
Bethany, brother of Mary and Martha, a friend and disciple of Our
Lord. When Lazarus became ill, the sisters sent for Jesus, but the
Savior delayed coming and when he arrived Lazarus was dead and
buried. Although Lazarus had been in the sepulcher for four days,
Jesus had the bomb opened and called him back to life. This is the
third and last recorded instance in which Jesus raised the dead ,
and in many ways the most remarkable of the three.
Lent - The season of prayer and penance before Easter. Its purpose is to better prepare the faithful for the feast of the Resurrection, and dispose them for a more fruitful reception of the graces that Christ merited by his passion and death.
In the Latin Rite, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for forty days, besides Sundays, until Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday occurs on any day from February 4 to March 11, depending on the date of Easter.
Originally the period of fasting in preparation for Easter did not, as a rule, exceed two or three days. But by the time of the Council of Nicaea (325) forty days were already customary. And ever since, this length of time has been associated with Christ's forty-day fast in the desert before beginning his public life.
According to the prescription of Pope Paul VI, in revising the Church's laws of fast and abstinence, "The time of Lent preserves its penitential character. The days of penitence to be observed under obligation throughout the Church are all Fridays and Ash Wednesday, that is to say the first days of Great Lent, according to the diversity of rites. Their substantial observance binds gravely" (Paenitemini, III, norm II).
Besides fast and abstinence on specified days,
the whole Lenten season is to be penitential, with stress on prayer,
reception of the sacraments, almsgiving, and the practice of
Leviticus, The book of.
- Third book of the Bible, named from its contents, which
deal entirely with the service of God and the religious ceremonies
to be performed by the members of the tribe of Levi, both priests
and Levites. Its divisions are: the rites of sacrifice (1-7),
consecration and installation of priests (8-10), the laws of purity
(11-16), the law of holiness (17-22), religious institutions
(23-25), blessings and curses (26). The book strongly emphasizes the
divine majesty and the duty to honor and obey God as sovereign Lord.
Liberation Theology - A movement in the Roman Catholic Church that makes criticism of oppression essential to the task of theology. The forms of oppression to be criticized are mainly social and economic evils. Originating in Latin America, liberation theology has held as its main concern the exploitation of the poor, but it also seeks to defend the rights of minority and ethnic groups and to support women's liberation. It is, therefore, a theory of deliverance from the injustices caused to people by the power structures of modern society.
It is a new approach to theology, and its leaders urge a reinterpretation of the Christian faith to concentrate on the main task of the Church today, to deliver people everywhere from the inhumanity to which they are being subjected, especially by those in political power. Accordingly all the main doctrines of historic Christianity are to be reassessed and, if need be, revised. Christ becomes an inspired human deliverer of the weak and oppressed; God's kingdom centers on this world, and not on the next; sin is essentially social evil and not an offense against God; the Church's mission is mainly sociopolitical and not eschatological; and objective divine revelation is subordinated to personal experience.
Aware of both the potential and risks of liberation theology, Pope John Paul II addressed himself mainly to this subject on his visit to Mexico in early 1979. He told the bishops of Latin America, met at Puebla for their General Conference: "The Church feels the duty to proclaim the liberation of millions of human beings, the duty to help this liberation become firmly established." At the same time, ". . . she also feels the corresponding duty to proclaim liberation in its integral and profound meaning, as Jesus proclaimed and realized it." Then, drawing on Pope Paul VI's teaching, he declared that it is "above all, liberation from sin and the evil one, in the joy of knowing God and being known by him."
The Pope finally set down the norms "that help
to distinguish when the liberation in question is Christian and when
on the other hand it is based rather on ideologies that rob it of
consistency with an evangelical point of view." Basically these
norms refer to the content "of what the evangelizers proclaim" and
to "the concrete attitudes that they adopt." On the level of
content, "one must see what is their fidelity to the word of God, to
the Church's living Tradition and to her Magisterium." On the level
of attitudes, "one must consider what sense of communion they have
with the bishops, in the first place, and with the other sectors of
the People of God; what contribution they make to the real building
up of the community; in what form they lovingly show care for the
poor, the sick, the dispossessed, the neglected and the oppressed,
and in what way they find in them the image of the poor and
suffering Jesus, and strive to relieve their need and serve Christ
in them" (address to the Third General Conference of the Latin
American Episcopate, January 28, 1979).
Life Everlasting -The eternal
life of heavenly glory, in body and soul, promised by Christ to
those who die in God's friendship.
Liturgy - A public service, duty, or work. In Scripture it refers to the religious duties to be performed by priests and levites in the Temple, especially those related to the Sacrifice; in Christian use among the Eastern Churches it means the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
In present day usage liturgy is the official public worship of the Church and is thus distinguished from private devotion. It is the special title of the Eucharist, and the administration of the sacraments with the annexed use of the sacramentals.
From a theological viewpoint, the liturgy is
the exercise now on earth of Christ's priestly office, as distinct
from his role as teacher and ruler of his people. Christ performs
this priestly office as Head of his Mystical Body, so that Head and
members together offer the sacred liturgy. Its function, therefore,
is twofold: to give honor and praise to God, which is worship, and
to obtain blessings for the human race, which is sanctification.
Liturgy of the Eucharist - The
most solemn part of the Mass, from the Presentation of the Gifts to
the Postcommunion included. The Church has arranged this part of the
Mass so that its several parts correspond to the words and actions
of Christ at the Last Supper, and specifically in three stages: in
the Presentation of the Gifts are brought the bread, wine, and
water, even as Christ took these elements into his hands; in the
Eucharistic prayer God is thanked for the whole work of redemption
and the gifts become the body and blood of Christ; in the Breaking
of the one Bread the unity of the faithful is signified, and in
Communion they receive the same Christ who gave himself on Holy
Thursday to his Apostles.
Liturgy of the Word - The second
part of the Mass, during which the faithful are instructed in the
revealed word of God. It consists of readings from Sacred Scripture
and the songs occurring between them. The homily, profession of
faith, and the prayer of the faithful develop and conclude the
Liturgy of the Word.
Lord - Title used of God in the
Old Testament as a translation of the Hebrew adonai, which is
generally substituted in reading the Hebrew Bible as a reverent
avoidance of the unspeakable Name. The vowels of adonai are
often written under the consonants of YHWH, so that the name Jehovah
can also be derived from this combination. The Greek translation of
this title, Kyrios, is used of God in the Septuagint and is
applied to Christ in the New Testament, as in Rom 10:9, “Jesus is
Lord.” As Jesus speaks of the Father as “Lord of heaven and earth”
(Mt 11:25; Lk 10:21; Acts 17:24), so too Jesus Himself is addressed
as Lord (Mk 7:28); after the resurrection, Christ was especially
given this title of universal sovereignty (Jn 20:28; 21:7). This
attribution of Lordship to Jesus meant that He was King over all
mankind (Rom 14:9), including His enemies (Col 2:10, 15) and even
over death (1 Cor 15:24; 1Pt 3:22). The Lordship of Christ expresses
His connection to the Davidic line, but more importantly His divine
status as absolute Lord over the forces of darkness and death (Phil
2:10); He is Lord of the Church not by force but by love (Col 3:18;
Eph 1:20; 4:15-16; 5:21-33). As Lord, Christ breaks the stranglehold
of sin, death and evil: He further transforms the New Creation,
which awaits His “coming again in glory” (1 Cor 16:22; Rv 22:20),
because in Him salvation is realized (Jn 10:11). Centered and rooted
in Him, humanity witnesses to Christ’s Lordship over His Church.
Lourdes - World famous shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in the department of Hautes-Pyrénées in France. In 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times at Massabielle, at a grotto near Lourdes, to Bernadette Soubirous, a fourteen-year-old peasant girl. At the same time a spring appeared, miraculous healings were reported, and pilgrims began to come to the spot. In 1862 the apparitions received ecclesiastical approbation and a church was built above the grotto. Then beside it, from 1883 to 1901, was built the magnificent Church of the Rosary. Since then millions of people have visited the shrine, and a medical bureau has been established to investigate the character of the cures, of which hundreds have been fully authenticated by medical specialists.
The healings generally take place after the
people have bathed in the waters of the spring, or during the
blessing with the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament carried in
procession. Not all cures are physical, many report marvelous
conversions and graces in the spiritual life. In 1891 a local feast
of Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11) was established and in 1907
extended to the universal Church by Pope St. Pius X.
Love - To will good to someone.
Also to please someone, either by sharing with that person what one
possesses or by doing what someone wants. Basically there are two
kinds of love. The love of concupiscence, or self-interested love,
means that another is loved for one's own sake as something useful
or pleasant to the one who loves. The love of friendship means
selfless love of another for that person's own sake, for his or her
good, to please him or her; it is the love of benevolence.
Love of Enemies - Christ's
commandment of merciful love, shown especially in loving those who
are not lovable. The enemies of whom Christ speaks are "those who
persecute you" (Matthew 5:44), "those who hate you . . . curse you"
(Luke 6:28). This is the highest and truest test of selfless love,
to "do good to . . . bless . . . pray for those who treat you badly"
Luke - The Evangelist Luke was a
Gentile, born in Antioch in Syria, and was doubtless a highly
educated physician of note. We have only three specific references
to this man who was probably one of the most learned and versatile
leaders of Christianity during the first century, and who is
accredited with authorship of the Gospel bearing his name and with
the Acts of the Apostles. The Apostle Paul refers to him as one f
his fellow-laborers and as “the beloved physician.” He was with Paul
during his first imprisonment in Rome; and the evidence that he was
a companion of Paul in much of his missionary activities appears
quite certain from indirect statements in the Acts of the Apostles.
Luke, The Gospel of
- Gospel attributed to St. Luke, who was probably a Greek
from Antioch; he was a disciple of St. Paul, who calls him “the
beloved physician” (Col 4:14) and knew him as a Gentile convert and
missionary. Notable for the characteristics typical of classical
historical methods and writing, the Gospel of Luke, intended
primarily for Gentile converts to Christianity, makes use of
material from Mark and gives the tradition of St. Paul’s teaching,
with a special place for the role of Mary in her Son’s ministry. The
Gospel of Luke is completed in the Acts of the Apostles, the two
written between A.D. 70 and 85; together they articulate the unified
and systematic account of God’s decisive acts in salvation history,
with the fulfillment of His promises to Israel in the life of Jesus
and the life of the Church. The two are further composed in ways to
make obvious the parallels to be drawn between events in the life of
Jesus and those in the lives of figures prominent in the early
Church. In particular, the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, as
detailed in the Gospel, parallels the Church’s mission to all
nations, as preached by Paul in his journey to Rome and recounted in
Acts, with particular emphasis on Jesus as the Son of God and the
Son of Man, with universal salvation for all of humanity as realized
by Christ through His death and resurrection.
Lying - Speaking deliberately
against one's mind. The speech is any communication of ideas to
another person, and may be done by means of words, spoken or
written, and by gestures. By speaking deliberately is meant that the
speaker must realize what he is saying; it is not a mere matter of
ignorance or misstatement. When a person tells a lie, he or she says
something that is contrary to what is on that person's mind; there
is real opposition between what one says and what one thinks.