Prayer is the offering in spirit that has done away with the sacrifices of old.... We pray in spirit, and so offer in spirit the sacrifice of prayer.... All the angels pray. Every creature prays. Cattle and wild beasts pray and bend the knee. As they come from their barns and caves they look out to heaven and call out, lifting up their spirit in their own fashion.
[From the treatise On Prayer by Tertullian]
With the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption, and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit. The whole Church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins. It rejoices in the forgiveness not only of those who are then reborn in holy baptism but also of those who are already numbered among God’s adopted children. Read this reflection from a sermon by Pope Saint Leo the Great.