Starck’s Prayer Book: Preparation for Lent

“Among the early Christians the holy season of Lent was a season of devotion and prayer, and it was spent in special meditations upon the sufferings of Jesus. This custom is observed among Christians to this day. While Satan has induced the children of the world to enter upon the season of Lent, not with prayer and devotion, but with drunkenness, masquerades, gluttony, dissipation, and wickedness, whereby they show that they care nothing for the crucified Jesus Christ, and trample His blood under foot, the children of God have a different spirit: they regard these things with horror.

“(1) They begin this season with prayer and singing, thus preparing their hearts for the contemplation of the suffering of Jesus. (2) They place before their eyes the entire passion of Jesus: Jesus in Gethsemene, before the council of the Jews, before the judgment-seat of Pilate, upon Golgotha, and on the cross; and while contemplating each detail, they say: All this was done for me!

“(3) While instituting these sacred meditations at home and at church, they do not rest satisfied with the mere history of these events, nor do they allow their devotion to vanish with the passing of Lent; but since they intend to draw comfort from the wounds of Jesus throughout the time of their life, and also in their dying hour, they remember the crucified and risen Jesus as long as they live. This remembrance (4) prompts them to crucify their lusts and desires, causing them to live no longer after the manner of the world, or to sin purposely, but to die unto sin, and to rise spiritually. God blesses such diligence, zeal, and desire for the sanctification of their lives.”
Exhortation from “The Believing Christian, on Entering upon the Holy Season of Lent, Meditates on the Suffering of Jesus Christ,” in Starck’s Prayer Book (p. 107-108)

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