Fifth Week of Lent

Adoration and Spiritual Warfare

Hierarchy is a big deal in both the military and the Church. Soldiers must be obedient to their superiors and show them the respect due to their rank.

Everyone with authority in the Kingdom of Heaven—including deacons, priests, bishops, and the pope himself—receives it from our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. He is at the top of the heavenly hierarchy, and when he is truly present in the Eucharist, we must show him proper 
The worship we give Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is called adoration. We adore the Lord when we genuflect (kneel down on our right knee) before the Eucharist in the tabernacle, on the altar, or carried in procession. Kneeling during the Eucharistic prayers at Mass and bowing before receiving Holy Communion are also gestures of adoration. Of course, adoration must flow from heartfelt reverence and not be outward only if it is to be a genuine act of worship, but outward signs help to guide our hearts in the right direction.
Adoration can also take place outside of public worship. Praying privately before the tabernacle or the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar is an ideal way to conform our hearts to Christ, listen to him, and grow in obedience and reverence.
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.

This collect prayer begins the Mass for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Jesus is calling us to "take up battle against spiritual evils." We'll explore fasting itself in a few weeks; during the week of Ash Wednesday, we're going to dig into an important set of weapons the Lord gives us to fight evil: sacramentals.

What's a sacramental? Well, if you attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, you're probably going to receive one on your forehead.