Laetare Sunday , so called from the incipit of the Introit at Mass,"Laetare Jerusalem" ("O be joyful, Jerusalem"), is a name used for today, the fourth Sunday of the season of Lent. This Sunday is also known as Mid-Lent Sunday (in French mi-carême), and Rose Sunday, because the golden rose sent by the popes to Catholic sovereigns, used to be blessed at this time.
Mid Lent. Rose vestments. Rejoice!
Time to pause in our Lenten observances. To think. To reflect. To rejoice, with the prodigal son, rejoicing in the Father's mercy.
During Lent, we often try to choose a penance, to draw closer to God, to practice self denial, to pray more.
Often, our Lenten sacrifices, our Lenten crosses as it were, end up being not those of our own choosing. Instead, the Lenten penances often seem to be chosen for us.
We suffer a little. We learn a lot. Through the Lenten sacrifices that we, perhaps, didn't choose but which are sacrifices that are real...with a cost...that draw us to prayer..to Our Lord...to the Sacraments...rather than those Clayton sacrifices that we may have chosen for ourselves, those sacrifices-you-make-when-you-are-not-really-making-a-sacrifice.
With the prodigal son, with the woman who committed adultery and was brought to Jesus, we learn more of God, of His mercy, His love.
This is what Lent is about. For Christians to walk, at least these forty days, more closely with God.