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Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
EWTN.com ^ | February 6, 2008 | EWTN

Posted on 02/06/2008 5:37:18 PM PST by Salvation

Click on the day for your Daily Lenten Reflection

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TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; lent
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For your prayer each day during Lent.
1 posted on 02/06/2008 5:37:21 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All
ASH WEDNESDAY

" Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return."
                                                 Gn. 3:19

Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. (Joel 2:13)


Reflection.
The liturgical use of ashes originated in the Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. In the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Esther 4:1). Job repented in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6). Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel wrote, "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:3).
Jesus  made reference to ashes, "If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago" (Matthew 11:21).
In the Middle Ages, the priest would bless the dying person with holy water, saying, "Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return."
The Church adapted the use of ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins. In our present liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we use ashes made from the burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, "Remember, man you are dust and to dust you shall return," or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." As we begin this holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins. We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven.


Lenten Question
Q: What is Lent?
A: Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). [This traditional ennumeration does not precisely coincide with the calendar according to the liturgical reform. In order to give special prominence to the Sacred Triduum (Mass of the Lord's Supper, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) the current calendar counts Lent as only from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, up to the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Even so, Lenten practices are properly maintained up to the Easter Vigil, excluding Sundays, as before.]

Lenten Action.
Invite a non-practicing friend to Mass with you.


Prayer
Almighty and everlasting God, you despise nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent.
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our brokenness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Ash Wednesday is a day of both fasting and abstinence.


2 posted on 02/06/2008 5:38:54 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...
The Holy Season of Lent
Fast and Abstinence.

It is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that a constituent part of repentance, of turning away from sin and back to God, includes some form of penance, without which the Christian is unlikely to remain on the narrow path and be saved (Jer. 18:11, 25:5; Ez.  18:30, 33:11-15; Joel 2:12; Mt. 3:2; Mt. 4:17; Acts 2:38). Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). The general law of penance, therefore, is part of the law of God for man.

The Church has specified certain forms of penance, both to ensure that the Catholic will do something, as required by divine law, while making it easy for Catholics to fulfill the obligation. Thus, the 1983 Code of Canon Law specifies the obligations of Latin Rite Catholics [Eastern Rite Catholics have their own penitential practices as specified by the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches].

Canon 1250  All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.

Canon 1251  Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Canon 1252  All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.

Can. 1253  It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

The Church, therefore, has two forms of official penitential practices - three if the Eucharistic fast before Communion is included.

Abstinence  The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Moral theologians have traditionally considered this also to forbid soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. Since this was not stated as binding under pain of sin, not to do so on a single occasion would not in itself be sinful. However, since penance is a divine command, the general refusal to do penance is certainly gravely sinful. For most people the easiest way to consistently fulfill this command is the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year which are not liturgical solemnities. When solemnities, such as the Annunciation, Assumption, All Saints etc. fall on a Friday, we neither abstain or fast. 

During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere, and it is sinful not to observe this discipline without a serious reason (physical labor, pregnancy, sickness etc.).

Fasting The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday [Canon 97] to the 59th Birthday [i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday] to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). Alcoholic beverages do not break the fast; however, they seem contrary to the spirit of doing penance.

Those who are excused from fast or abstinence Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment,  manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.

Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times. It could be modeled after abstinence and fasting. A person could, for example, multiply the number of days they abstain. Some people give up meat entirely for religious motives (as opposed to those who give it up for health or other motives). Some religious orders, as a penance, never eat meat. Similarly, one could multiply the number of days that one fasted. The early Church had a practice of a Wednesday and Saturday fast. This fast could be the same as the Church's law (one main meal and two smaller ones) or stricter, even bread and water. Such freely chosen fasting could also consist in giving up something one enjoys - candy, soft drinks, smoking, that cocktail before supper, and so on. This is left to the individual.

One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. When considering stricter practices than the norm, it is prudent to discuss the matter with one's confessor or director. Any deprivation that would seriously hinder us in carrying out our work, as students, employees or parents would be contrary to the will of God.

----   Colin B. Donovan, STL


3 posted on 02/06/2008 5:42:30 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Lenten bump.


4 posted on 02/06/2008 8:21:55 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation

btt


5 posted on 02/06/2008 8:51:58 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: All
Thursday After Ash Wednesday
"Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps." (Luke 9:23)


Reflection.
WHAT TO GIVE UP . . .

Give up complaining. . . . . . . .focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism. . . . . . . . . become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments . . .think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry. . . . . . . . . . . . . trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement. . . . .be full of hope.
Give up bitterness. . . . . . . . . . turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred. . . . . . . . . . . . . return good for evil.
Give up negativism . . . . . . . . .be positive.
Give up anger. . . . . . . . . . . . . .be more patient.
Give up pettiness. . . . . . . . . . .become mature.
Give up gloom. . . . . . . . . . . . . .enjoy the beauty that is all                                                      around you.
Give up jealousy. . . . . . . . . . . .pray for trust.
Give up gossiping. . . . . . . . . . .control your tongue.
Give up sin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . turn to virtue.
Give up giving up. . . . . . . . . . . hang in there!


Lenten Question
Q: Why are the forty days called Lent?
A: They are called Lent because that is the Old English word for spring, the season of the year during which they fall. This is something unique to English. In almost all other languages its name is a derivative of the Latin term, or "the forty days."

Lenten Action.
Think of a person with whom you have a strained relationship and make some gesture toward improving that relationship.


Prayer
Direct our actions, Lord, by your holy inspiration and carry them forward by your gracious help, that all our works may begin in you and by you be happily ended.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
Amen.


6 posted on 02/07/2008 9:22:31 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

“Give up complaining. . . . . . . .focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism. . . . . . . . . become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments . . .think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry. . . . . . . . . . . . . trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement. . . . .be full of hope.
Give up bitterness. . . . . . . . . . turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred. . . . . . . . . . . . . return good for evil.
Give up negativism . . . . . . . . .be positive.
Give up anger. . . . . . . . . . . . . .be more patient.
Give up pettiness. . . . . . . . . . .become mature.
Give up gloom. . . . . . . . . . . . . .enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy. . . . . . . . . . . .pray for trust.
Give up gossiping. . . . . . . . . . .control your tongue.
Give up sin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . turn to virtue.
Give up giving up. . . . . . . . . . . hang in there!”

Maybe you should post this on the McCain at CPAC thread.


7 posted on 02/07/2008 1:15:44 PM PST by Appleby
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To: Appleby

Not a bad idea. LOL!


8 posted on 02/08/2008 7:33:48 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Friday After Ash Wednesday

The Fridays of  Lent are days of abstinence from meat.

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed. (Isaiah 58:6)


Reflection.
We must always remember what God tells us in Scripture: "Even if a mother could forget the child in her womb" - something impossible, but even if she could forget - "I will never forget you."
And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people first. And find out about your next-door neighbors. Do you know who they are?
I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. I didn't bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and Muslims, to enjoy the joy of sharing. ..... Mother Teresa


Lenten Question
Q: What is a day of fast and abstinence?
A: Under current canon law in the Western Rite of the Church, a day of fast is one on which Catholics who are eighteen to sixty years old are required to keep a limited fast. In this country, one may eat a single, normal meal and have two snacks, so long as these snacks do not add up to a second meal. Children are not required to fast, but their parents must ensure they are properly educated in the spiritual practice of fasting. Those with medical conditions requiring a greater or more regular food intake can easily be dispensed from the requirement of fasting by their pastor. A day of abstinence is a day on which Catholics fourteen years or older are required to abstain from eating meat (under the current discipline in America, fish, eggs, milk products, and condiments or foods made using animal fat are permitted in the Western Rite of the Church, though not in the Eastern Rites.) Again, persons with special dietary needs can easily be dispensed by their pastor.


Lenten Action.
Schedule a fifteen minute period of silence today to listen to your heart and to the Lord speaking to you..


Prayer
Lord, with your loving care guide the penance we have begun. Help us to persevere with love and sincerity.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.


9 posted on 02/08/2008 7:34:21 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Saturday After Ash Wednesday
If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness. (Isaiah 58:10)


Reflection.
"Repent, and believe in the gospel," Jesus told the crowds (Mark 1:15).
Perhaps at times we listen to sermons or read the gospels and apply the message to others. Often we can think of many people who need to repent. However we must be careful not to apply the gospel only to others. This call to repentance applies first of all to you and me. Recall that Jesus often preached in the synagogues and at the temple. He was preaching to the church goers and church workers. The call to repentance was not just to those sinners out there. The message of repentance is for Church leaders and workers. It is for you and me.


Lenten Question
Q: When does Lent begin?
A: Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is the day on which the faithful have their foreheads signed with ashes in the form of a Cross. It is also a day of fast and abstinence. 


Lenten Action.
Make a note on your calendar to participate in the Sacrament of Penance.

Prayer
Father,
look upon our weakness and reach out to help us with your loving power.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.


10 posted on 02/09/2008 9:50:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
First Sunday of Lent
"I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9:13)


Reflection.
“The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom, and dost thou seek rest and joy? If thou carry the cross unwillingly, thou makest it a burden to thee. If thou fling away one cross, without doubt thou shalt find another, perhaps a heavier”
...." (Thomas de Kempis -- Imitation of Christ).


Lenten Question
Q: Why are Sundays excluded from the reckoning of the forty days?
A: Because Sunday is the day on which Christ arose, making it an inappropriate day to fast and mourn our sins. On Sunday we must celebrate Christ's resurrection for our salvation. It is Friday on which we commemorate his death for our sins. The Sundays of the year are days of celebration and the Fridays of the year are days of penance. 


Lenten Action.
Phone a long lost friend and relive old memories. Visit a sick person. Feed the birds.

Prayer
O Jesus, I withdraw in spirit with You into the desert; teach me how to fight the triple concupiscence of the flesh, pride, and avarice.


11 posted on 02/10/2008 6:28:04 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Monday, First Week of  Lent
"I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me." (Matthew 25:40)


Reflection.
It is not enough for us to say: "I love God," but I also have to love my neighbor.
St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live? And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is not true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me. It hurt Jesus to love us.
We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must "put on Christ" as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love as He loves us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, "You did it to Me." On the last day He will say to those on His right, "whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me, and He will also say to those on His left, whatever you neglected to do for the least of these, you neglected to do it for Me."
When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, "I thirst." Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts ...Mother Teresa


Lenten Question
Q: Is there a biblical basis for abstaining from meat as a sign of repentance?
A: Yes. The book of Daniel states: "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia . . . 'I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.'" (Daniel 10:1-3)  


Lenten Action.
Give a donation to charity.

Prayer
Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness in my spirit so that I may grow in holiness through your constant care. Amen


12 posted on 02/12/2008 8:49:59 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Tuesday, First Week of  Lent
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: ‘Our Father....’" (Matthew 6:8-9)


Reflection.
. . .AND GOD SAID "NO."

I asked God to take away my pride,
And God said "No."
He said it was not for Him to take away,
But for me to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole,
and God said, "No."
He said her spirit is eternal,
While her body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience,
And God said, "No."
He said patience is a by-product of tribulation.
It isn't granted - it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness,
And God said "No."
He said He gives blessings,
Happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain,
And God said "No."
He said, "Suffering draws you apart from
Worldly cares and brings you close to Me."

I asked God to make my spirit grow,
And God said "No."
He said I must grow on my own,
But he will prune me to make it fruitful.

I asked God if He loved me,
And God said "Yes."
He gave me His only Son, who died for me,
And I will be in heaven someday
Because I believe.

I asked God to help me love others
As much as He loves me,
And God said,
"Ah, finally you have the idea."

.....by Claudia Minden Welsz


Lenten Fact
The word "lent" means "lengthen" and stands for that time in spring when the days grow longer.


Lenten Action.
Schedule a fifteen minute period of silence today to listen to your heart and to the Lord speaking to you.

Prayer
God our Savior,
bring us back to you and fill our minds with your wisdom.
May we be enriched by our observance of Lent. Amen


13 posted on 02/12/2008 8:50:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Wednesday, First Week of  Lent
"For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here." (Luke 11:32)

Reflection.

"Go through the world unnoticed if you can. Secret privations, secret sacrifices of your own will, which will never be known until all things are revealed, are surer instruments of perfection than chains and shirts of hair."
...Fr. Lasance

Lenten Fact

The original period of Lent was 40 hours. It was spent fasting to commemorate the suffering of Christ and the 40 hours He
spent in the tomb.
In the early 3rd century, Lent was lengthened to 6 days. About 800 AD it was changed to 40 days.


Lenten Action.

Plant a seed or bulb and watch it develop through the spring. Pray for your own spiritual growth.


Prayer

O Jesus, humbled to abjection for me, teach me to humble myself for love of You.

14 posted on 02/13/2008 9:55:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Thursday, First Week of  Lent
"Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)


Reflection.

The object of our prayer-life is to empty ourselves and be filled with the Trinity. The first thing Jesus did when He became Man was to empty Himself.
"His state was Divine, yet He did not cling to His equality with God, but emptied Himself to assume the condition of a slave and become as men are; and as all men are, He was humbler yet." (Phil. 2:6,7)
Our mission in life, then, is to cooperate with God's Grace and empty ourselves and be filled with the Trinity.
We are not to seek detachment to be free of responsibility, but to enable us to love both God and man with a pure love.
We are not to withdraw from the world to be alone, but to be with God.
We are to do penance, not because it erases our guilt, but because it wipes away the traces of sin.
We are to empty ourselves, not for the sake of self-control, but to be filled with God- transformed into Jesus.
There is no definite method by which we can become selfless. Each one of us has a particular virtue and faults that make the process of becoming like Jesus different. We must look at Jesus, read His Word in Scripture and ask His Spirit to enlighten our minds and give us that particular way by which we can best attain the goal He has set for us ....
Mother Angelica

Lenten Question

Q: Why is giving up something for Lent such a salutary custom?
A: By denying ourselves something we enjoy, we discipline our wills so that we are not slaves to our pleasures. Just as indulging the pleasure of eating leads to physical flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in physically demanding situations, indulging in pleasure in general leads to spiritual flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in spiritually demanding situations,  when the demands of morality require us to sacrifice something pleasurable (such as sex before marriage or not within the confines of marriage) or endure hardship (such as being scorned or persecuted for the faith). By disciplining the will to refuse pleasures when they are not sinful, a habit is developed which allows the will to refuse pleasures when they are sinful. There are few better ways to keep one's priorities straight than by periodically denying ourselves things of lesser priority to show us that they are not necessary and focus our attention on what is necessary.


Lenten Action.

Pray a rosary for the conversion of all who are far from the Lord.


Prayer

Lord, look upon us and hear our prayer. By the good works You inspire, help us to discipline our bodies and to be renewed in spirit. Amen.


15 posted on 02/14/2008 9:43:47 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Friday, First Week of  Lent
The Fridays of  Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
"Unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 5:20)


Reflection.

HOW TO FAST

Fast from judging others;
Feast on Christ dwelling in them.

Fast from apparent darkness;
Feast on the reality of light.

Fast from pessimism;
Feast on optimism.

Fast from thoughts of illness;
Feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute;
Feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from anger;
Feast on patience.

Fast from worry;
Feast on Divine Providence.

Fast from unrelenting pressure;
Feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from negatives;
Feast on positives.

Fast from complaining;
Feast on appreciation.

Fast from hostility;
Feast on non-resistance.

Fast from bitterness;
Feast on forgiveness.

Fast from anxiety;
Feast on hope.

Fast from yourself;
Feast on a silent heart.


Lenten Question

Q: Why are the forty days called Lent?
A: They are called Lent because that is the Old English word for spring, the season of the year during which they fall. This is something unique to English. In almost all other languages its name is a derivative of the Latin term , or "the forty days."

Lenten Action.

Be generous with your compliments today, especially to those who appear to be "down".


Prayer

I enter on this path of repentance so that in dying to self I might rise to new life.


16 posted on 02/17/2008 12:00:49 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Saturday, First Week of  Lent
"If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that?" (Matthew 5:46)


Reflection.
St. Dominic Savio was born in Italy in 1842. One day when he was just four, he disappeared and his good mother went looking for him. She found the little fellow in a corner praying with his hands joined and his head bowed. He already knew all his prayers by heart! At five, he was an altar boy.
When he was seven, he received his First Holy Communion. On that solemn day, he chose a motto: "Death, but not sin!" and he kept it always.   "A teenager such as Dominic, who bravely struggled to keep his innocence from Baptism to the end of his life, is really a saint," said Pope St. Pius X. At the age of twelve, Dominic entered the school run by St. John Bosco. Don Bosco examined him first and at the end of the questions, Dominic asked,  "What do you think of me?"
"I think you're good material," answered the priest, with a big smile.
"Well, then," said Dominic, "You are a good tailor, so if the material is good, take me and make a new suit out of me for Our Lord!"
Everyone in the school saw from the way he prayed that this boy was different. He greatly loved all the boys, and even though he was younger, he used to worry about them. He was afraid that they would lose the grace of God by sinning. 
One day, a fellow brought a magazine full of bad pictures to school. In a minute, a group of boys had gathered around him to see it. 
"What's up?" wondered Dominic, and he, too, went to look. Just one peek was enough for him. He grabbed the magazine and tore it to pieces! "Poor us!" he cried in the meantime, "Did God give us eyes to look at such things as this? Aren't you ashamed?" 
"Oh, we were just looking at these pictures for the fun of it," said one boy.  
"Sure, for fun," answered Dominic, "and in the meantime you're preparing yourselves to go to hell!" 
"Oh, what's so wrong about looking at these pictures anyway?" another fellow demanded. 
Dominic had a ready answer. "If you don't see anything wrong," he said sadly, "this is even worse." It means you're used to looking at shameful things!"  
No one said anything after that. They all realized that Dominic was right. Another time he stopped a terrific stone-throwing fight between two angry boys. Holding up a little crucifix between them, he said, "Before you fight, look at this and say, 'Jesus Christ was innocent and He died forgiving His murderers. I am a sinner, and I am going to hurt Him by not forgiving my enemies.' Then you can start - and throw your first stone at me!"
The two boys were so ashamed of themselves that they apologized, and promised to go to confession too.

One day Dominic began to feel sick and was sent home to get better. While at home he grew worse, instead, and received the last Sacraments. He was only fifteen then, but he did not fear
death. In fact, he was overjoyed at the thought of going to Heaven. Just before he died, he tried to sit up.
"Goodbye," he murmured to his good father. Suddenly his face lit up with a smile of great joy and happiness. "I am seeing such wonderful things!" he exclaimed. Then he spoke no more, for he had gone to Heaven.
Dominic is the patron saint of choir boys and of the falsely accused.
This latter title was given to him due to the following incident. One time, two boys filled the school stove with snow and garbage during the cold winter months. When the teacher came back into the room, they falsely accused Dominic of doing the "dirty" deed. Although disciplined in front of the entire class, Dominic refused to tell on the two mischievous boys. When the truth was later revealed, Dominic was asked why he didn't confess to his innocence. He remarked that he was imitating Our Lord, Who remained silent during His persecutions and crucifixion.


Lenten Fact
Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, is celebrated in many parts of the world with feasting. The French call it
"Mardi Gras". The Germans call it "Fausching". The feasting comes from the custom of using up household fats prior to the
40 days of Lenten fasting, when no fat is used.


Lenten Action.

In a prayerful spirit, get up early and watch the sun rise.


Prayer

Lord Jesus, you spoke peace to a sinful world and brought mankind the gift of reconciliation by the suffering and death you endured. I love you and joyfully bear the name 'Christian.' Teach me to follow your example. Increase my faith, hope and charity so that I may struggle to turn hatred to love and conflict to peace.


17 posted on 02/17/2008 12:01:36 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Sunday, Second Week of  Lent
He was transfigured before their eyes and his clothes became dazzlingly white. (Mark 9:2-3)


Reflection.

"This is the remedy to fix my gaze on You, Incarnate Word, hanging on the Cross. As soon as You see a humble soul looking at You in this way, you are quickly moved to look at it, and the effect of Your divine glance is like that of a ray of sunshine on the earth; it warms it and prepares it to bring forth fruit. This is the way You act, O Divine Word, who by the light of Your glance, drain my soul of all its pride, and consume it in Your fire. No one acquires humility if he does not fix his gaze on You, O Word, on the Cross."
... St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi

Lenten Fact

During Bach's day, often the organ and choirs were silent during Lent.


Lenten Action.

Talk about today's scriptures with a friend after Mass.

Prayer

Father of light,
in you is found no shadow of change but only the fullness of life and limitless truth.
Open our heart to the voice of Your Word. and free us from the original darkness that shadows our vision.
Restore our sight that we may look upon your Son who calls us to repentance and a change of heart, for He lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.


18 posted on 02/17/2008 5:17:24 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Monday, Second Week of  Lent
"Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate." (Luke 6:36)


Reflection.

LENT: A TIME FOR FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION

By Jennifer Jordan
Lent is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation. An acquaintance of mine recently shared an experience that shows the beauty reconciliation can bring. Mrs. Winston's story begins with an automobile accident that nearly claimed the life of her 35-year-old son, Robert.
After seven weeks of daily visits to the hospital and many "life and death" complications, it looked as if Robert was going to survive. Despite the hardship, Mrs. Winston, a gentle, spiritual woman, was quick to be positive about her situation. She believed in the power of prayer and was confident God was healing her son. "The doctors, the nurses--they were the Lord's instruments, and they were good instruments," she said. "The people at the hospital were all as nice as they could be," she said. Then with hesitation, she added, "except for a problem I had with one nurse." She continued to explain the incident. Robert had been in the hospital a long time, and his mother was hoping he could leave to attend their family reunion. "Well, I asked this nurse about it, and she just blew up at me," she said. "The nurse called my request 'unreasonable,' and said there was 'no way' the doctors would approve it." Mrs. Winston, a soft-spoken woman in her 60s, was shocked and hurt by the woman's cold response. "I couldn't understand why she was so nasty," she said. Another nurse who witnessed the encounter added, "Ignore her, she's just temperamental."
When Mrs. Winston went home, she couldn't forget the incident. She returned to the hospital the next day and the same nurse was in her son's room. She called her aside and said to her, "I think a great deal of you and the other nurses here." She then went a step further. "I don't think I have ever done anything to hurt you or offend you. But, if I have, I apologize." She continued to tell the nurse that she didn't understand what provoked her angry tone. "I hugged her and told her how much we appreciated her work with Robert." "Well, she just melted," Mrs. Winston said in her soft southern voice. "It seems she was going through some hard times, and it hadn't been a good day." As I listened to her story, I thought about how others might respond to the rude nurse. Some might report the incident to the woman's supervisor; some might reply in the same tone the nurse used; and, some might vindictively walk away and wish the woman a flat tire on her way home. Then, there are rare souls--such as Mrs. Winston--people who inspire us to reach for the Christ within us and to treat others with love and compassion. I reflected on her wonderful example. She put aside her anger and pride and offered forgiveness. Christ invites each of us to reconcile with those who hurt or disappoint us. It is a call to forgive the stranger who cuts you off in traffic; the family member who has been a bit "too honest"; and, the ex-spouse who may continue to drive you crazy.
After Mrs. Winston left my home I wondered why this acquaintance had shared such a personal story. She had come to my home on business --to repair my washing machine. Then, as I reflected on it, I knew why our paths had crossed. She was bringing a wonderful example of how to deal with hurt in our lives. This Lent, take the big step. Surrender any "eye for an eye" notions and pray for help in learning to love and forgive the way our Lord taught us.

Lenten Question

Q: Is the custom of giving up something for Lent mandatory?
A: No. However, it is a salutary custom, and parents or caretakers may choose to require it of their children to encourage their spiritual training, which is their prime responsibility in the raising of their children.

Lenten Action.

Wear a cross or other religious article; you will be surprised how many times this will start a conversation about your faith.

Prayer

Father of light,
in you is found no shadow of change but only the fullness of life and limitless truth.
Open our heart to the voice of Your Word and free us from the original darkness that shadows our vision.
Restore our sight that we may look upon your Son who calls us to repentance and a change of heart, for he lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.


19 posted on 02/18/2008 8:39:29 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Tuesday, Second Week of  Lent
Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord. (Isaiah 1:18)


Reflection.

If most problems come from unforgiveness, we can understand why Jesus emphasizes forgiveness to an extreme degree. When Peter suggested to  Jesus that we should forgive seven times, he was correct. (Mt 18:21)  Seven in the Bible stands for an indefinite number of times, so Peter  was saying we should forgive indefinitely. This is the correct answer  but not the correct emphasis. Jesus proclaims we should forgive "seventy times seven," indefinitely times indefinitely. (Mt 18:22) Jesus further  emphasizes forgiveness by saying God's kingdom is a matter of forgiveness  and those who do not forgive are handed over to torturers. (Mt 18:23, 34)
And when the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, Jesus told  them to pray they be forgiven as they forgive. (Mt 6:12) This means prayer  will hurt rather than help us if we do not forgive. This is the only point  in the Lord's prayer on which Jesus commented.  He reiterated: "If you  forgive the faults of others, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours.
If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you." (Mt   6:14-15) Jesus insists on forgiveness. We must pass on the forgiveness He has given us by the shedding of His blood on Calvary ...
Father Al Lauer

Lenten Question

Q: Are acts of repentance appropriate on other days during Lent?
A: Yes. Thus the states: "All Fridays through the year and he time of Lent are penitential days and time throughout the universal Church" (CIC 1250).


Lenten Action.

Forgive someone who has wronged you; Ask for forgiveness from someone you wronged.


Prayer

Forgive my sins against the unity of your family; make me love as you loved me.


20 posted on 02/20/2008 9:42:11 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Wednesday, Second Week of  Lent
"Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest." (Matthew 20:27)


Reflection.

Deny
oneself
Carry
one's cross
To follow
Jesus Christ
If you are ashamed of the Cross of Jesus Christ
he will be ashamed of you before his Father
Love
the Cross
Desire:
crosses
contempt
pain
abuse
insults
disgrace
persecution
humiliations
calumnies
illness
injuries
May Jesus prevail
May his Cross prevail
Divine love
Humility
Submission
Patience
Obedience:
complete
prompt
joyful
blind
persevering

.....St. Louis de Montfort

Lenten Question

Q: Is the balance  of  fasting  the same for all people?
A: No. For example, with the good of food, people who are by nature physically larger need more food than people who are physically smaller. Similarly, people who have higher metabolisms or who do manual labor for a living need more food than people with slower metabolisms or who have less active lifestyles. The same is true with regard to other goods than food.  St. Paul speaks of this in regard to the good of married life: "I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:7-9). Thus some are given the gift of being able to live without the good of married life in order that they may pursue greater devotion to God (1 Cor. 7:32-34) or to pursue greater ministry for others (2 Timothy 2:3-4), as with priests, monks, and nuns. God gives these people special graces to live the life which they have embraced, just as he gives special graces to the married to live the life they have embraced.

Lenten Action.

Read for 20 minutes from Scripture or an inspirational book.


Prayer

Lord, watch over Your Church, and guide it with Your unfailing love. Protect us from what could harm us and lead us to what will save us. Help us always, for without You we are bound to fail.


21 posted on 02/20/2008 9:43:01 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation; All

Thanks for posting all of this! If I may add, there are some things we’re allowed to (if not encouraged to) “feast” on during Lent I believe, namely the Sacraments. This is the second year I have increased the frequency of the times I partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. I say this for the benefit of others, not to brag. It truly is beneficial, even though it’s always a “pain”. No one likes to do it, but it puts things in proper perspective.

I encourage all to partake of the Sacrament at least one more time than usual during this time. Or, if you haven’t been in a long time, then by all means go at least once. Not a lecture, or meant to make anyone feel guilty just a reminder out of love.


22 posted on 02/20/2008 10:03:02 AM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven

**I have increased the frequency of the times I partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent.**

So true for me. I had a limit on myself of every two months. And then, not to brag, it turned into every four weeks.

Then this year I have participated in the fantastic Sacrament every two or three weeks. It is so astounding to me.

And such a blessing to my soul.

Agree with your recommendations — only I would add “keep it up after Lent!”


23 posted on 02/20/2008 1:24:23 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Thursday, Second Week of  Lent
"At his gate lay a beggar named Lazarus." (Luke 16:20)


Reflection.
Lent is a time for each of us to increase our knowledge of the "faith that is in us" in order that we can fulfill our vocation as Christians to extend this rich blessing of faith to others. We accomplish personal renewal and revitalization of our faith through penance, prayer and instruction.


Lenten Question

Q: On what basis does the Church have the authority to establish days of fast and abstinence?
A: On the authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus told the leaders of his Church, "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19, 18:18). The language of binding and loosing  was a rabinnic way of referring to the ability to establish binding  or rules of conduct for the faith community. It is thus especially appropriate that the references to binding and loosing occur in Matthew, the "Jewish Gospel."
Thus the states: "BINDING AND LOOSING (Hebrew,  . . . Rabinnical term for 'forbidding and permitting.' . . . "The power of binding and loosing as always claimed by the Pharisees. Under Queen Alexandra the Pharisees, says Josephus (1:5:2), 'became the administrators of all public affairs so as to be empowered to banish and readmit whom they pleased, as well as to loose and to bind.' . . . The various schools had the power 'to bind and to loose'; that is, to forbid and to permit ( 3b); and they could also bind any day by declaring it a fast-day ( . . .  12a . . . ). This power and authority, vested in the rabbinical body of each age of the Sanhedrin, received its ratification and final sanction from the celestial court of justice (9; 23b). "In this sense Jesus, when appointing his disciples to be his successors, used the familiar formula (Matt. 16:19, 18:18). By these words he virtually invested them with the same authority as that which he found belonging to the scribes and Pharisees who 'bind heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but will not move them with one of their fingers'; that is 'loose them,' as they have the power to do (Matt. 23:2-4). In the same sense the second epistle of Clement to James II ('Clementine Homilies,' Introduction [A.D. 221]), Peter is represented as having appointed Clement as his successor, saying: 'I communicate to him the power of binding and loosing so that, with respect to everything which he shall ordain in the earth, it shall be decreed in the heavens; for he shall bind what ought to be bound and loose what ought to be loosed as knowing the rule of the Church.'" ( 3:215). Thus Jesus invested the leaders of this Church with the power of making  for the Christian community. This includes the setting of fast days (like Ash Wednesday). To approach the issue from another angle, every family has the authority to establish particular family devotions for its members. Thus if the parents decide that the family will engage in a particular devotion at a particular time (say, Bible reading after supper), it is a sin for the children to disobey and skip the devotion for no good reason. In the same way, the Church as the family of God has the authority to establish its own family devotion, and it is a sin for the members of the Church to disobey and skip the devotions for no good reason (though of course if the person has a good reason, the Church dispenses him immediately).

Lenten Action.

Pray for  RCIA Catechumens and Candidates.


Prayer

O Jesus, Divine Strength, I come to You to seek support for my weakness, and infirmity.


24 posted on 02/21/2008 8:55:12 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Friday, Second Week of  Lent
Fridays of  Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age. (Genesis 37:3)


Reflection.
O Divine Word, You humbled Yourself even unto death and willed to be treated as the least of men by sinners, by demons, and even by the Holy Spirit and by Your Eternal Father. You did all this to glorify your Father, to make reparation for the offenses committed against Him by pride, to confound and destroy our arrogance and to teach us to detest vanity and to love humility. Oh! how truly can we see that pride dishonors God and is very displeasing to Him, since it is necessary for you, the Son of God, to be so humiliated in order to atone for such dishonor!
We can truly say also that vanity is a monstrous thing since in order to destroy it, You were willing to be reduced to such humiliation! Oh! how firmly must we  believe that in the eyes of God humility is an infinitely precious treasure and a jewel most pleasing to Him, since You, His divine Son, willed to be so humiliated to make us love this virtue, and to urge us to imitate You in the practice of it, and thus merit the grace to perform its works.'  ..... St. John Eudes


Lenten Question

Q: What is a day of fast and abstinence?
A: Under current canon law in the Western Rite of the Church, a day of fast is one on which Catholics who are eighteen to sixty years old are required to keep a limited fast. In this country, one may eat a single, normal meal and have two snacks, so long as these snacks do not add up to a second meal. Children are not required to fast, but their parents must ensure they are properly educated in the spiritual practice of fasting. Those with medical conditions requiring a greater or more regular food intake can easily be dispensed from the requirement of fasting by their pastor. A day of abstinence is a day on which Catholics fourteen years or older are required to abstain from eating meat (under the current discipline in America, fish, eggs, milk products, and condiments or foods made using animal fat are permitted in the Western Rite of the Church, though not in the Eastern Rites.) Again, persons with special dietary needs can easily be dispensed by their pastor.

Lenten Action.

Share an answered prayer with a friend—give God credit in words. Remember to give thanks to God for what you received.


Prayer

Merciful Father, may our acts of penance bring us your forgiveness, open our hearts to your love, and prepare us for the coming feast of Your resurrection.


25 posted on 02/23/2008 9:56:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Saturday, Second Week of  Lent
"Let us eat and celebrate because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life." (Luke 15:23-24)


Reflection.

Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is All everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
So, faithful Virgin, yields himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He'll wear
Taken from thence, flesh, which death's force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in his mind, who is thy Son and Brother;
Whom thou conceiv'st, conceiv'd; yea, thou art now
Thy Maker's maker, and thy Father's mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shut'st in little room
Immensity, cloistered in thy dear womb.

                                   by John Donne


Lenten Action.

Go to a chapel and say  Morning Prayer. Call your parents and tell them you love them. 

Prayer

Forgive my sins against the unity of your family; make me love as you loved me.


26 posted on 02/23/2008 9:57:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Sunday, Third Week of  Lent
"Zeal for your house consumes me." (John 2:17)


Reflection.
" O Divine Truth, You give so much strength to the soul which clothes itself with You, that it never falters under the weight of adversity  beneath the burden of troubles and temptations, but in every struggle it gains a great victory. I am wretched because I have not followed You, O Eternal Truth; hence I am so weak that in every least tribulation I fall" ...St Catherine of Siena


Lenten Question

Q: Is there a biblical basis for abstaining from meat as a sign of repentance?
A: Yes. The book of Daniel states: "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia . . . 'I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.'" (Daniel 10:1-3)

Lenten Action.

Say "I will pray for you" to someone who has shared a difficulty.


Prayer

Renew my eagerness to work with you in building a better world, so that my friends may hear your gospel of peace and justice.


27 posted on 02/24/2008 9:15:38 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Monday, Third Week of  Lent
"Go and wash...and your flesh will heal." (2 Kings 5:10)


Reflection.
Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness. His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience. God's grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind toward me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty. In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest. I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God. 
By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides. 
I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help. And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning. 
And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost. I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him. And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice. But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy. 
And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let you mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.  ..
a letter by St Thomas More to his daughter Margaret

Lenten Action.

Forgive one who has betrayed you and ask forgiveness from one you have betrayed.


Prayer

Jesus, may we know that when a person is forgiven and begins to walk in the path of righteousness he will go on to become the recipient of many spiritual blessings. May this be the inheritance of every true believer.


28 posted on 02/25/2008 5:23:26 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Tuesday, Third Week of  Lent
"Lord, when my brother wrongs me, how often must I forgive him?" (Matthew 18:21)

He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying 'Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.'.....  Saint Bernardine of Siena

Reflection.

I had confided the painful story of my father to my friend. My parents separated bitterly when I was in high school. My father turned against his three sons. He circulated a letter of vicious lies in town to destroy our reputations and moved to Canada to avoid paying child support.
I last saw my father in 1964, when I was sixteen. After that, I spoke with him only twice. The last time, he claimed he was not my father and threatened to harm me if I ever contacted him again. Years later, in 1990, I learned that my father had died--and changed his last name!
It was now 1993. My friend knew my pain. In a gentle way we debated our subject over the phone. Citing Jesus' words, "if there is repentance, you must forgive," I clung to my anger and the reverse idea that Christians need not forgive, when there is no repentance.
My friend and I had debated this issue before. Finally, in this conversation he said, "Here's what I'm concerned about. What happens to me when I don't forgive?" This time his words struck me. Beyond my clinging to any proof text, his words spoke to my soul.
My journey included prayer, self-reflection, sharing my journey with others, and my desire to be freed from re-living these nightmares of my past. Above all, I trusted our God of love and forgiveness to go with me, no matter how arduous my journey.
Weeks passed into months. Slowly my intense anger began to cool. Finally, after more than two years, a day came when I realized I no longer bore ill will toward my father. With God's help, I had forgiven him!
I still considered his actions to be wrong. But even so, what a difference! After all those years of simmering anger, I had come to a place where I felt a real sense of peace with my father's memory--and myself! This experience touched my life and faith deeply.
.... Dr. Douglas Showalter


Lenten Action.

Forgive one who has betrayed you and ask forgiveness from one you have betrayed.


Prayer

O Lord, the hour of your favor draws near, the day of your mercy and our salvation - when death was destroyed and eternal life began. We acknowledge our sins and our offenses are always before us. Blot out all our wrongdoings and give us a new and steadfast spirit. Restore us to your friendship and number us among the living who share the joy of your Son's risen life.

Gracious Saint Joseph,
protect me and my family from all evil as you did the Holy Family. Kindly keep us ever united in the love of Christ, ever fervent in imitation of the virtue of our Blessed Lady, your sinless spouse, and always faithful in devotion to you. Amen.


29 posted on 02/26/2008 6:28:27 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Wow - this is great reading!


30 posted on 02/26/2008 7:54:44 PM PST by Patriotic1 (Dic mihi solum facta, domina - Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: Patriotic1; All
Wednesday, Third Week of  Lent
"Take care...not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen." (Deuteronomy 4:9)


Reflection.

The experience of the Father’s love urges Christians to give of themselves to others, obeying a logic of service and solidarity in openness to their brothers and sisters. The arenas in which the Church through the centuries has borne witness to God’s love in her word and action are vast.
Still today we see immense areas in which the work of Christians must bring to bear the charity of God. New forms of poverty and the pressing questions which trouble many hearts await a concrete and appropriate response. Those who are lonely, those on the margins of society, the hungry, the victims of violence, those who have no hope must be able to experience, in the Church’s loving care, the tenderness of the Heavenly Father who, from the very beginning of the world, has kept every individual in mind in order to fill each one with his blessings.
.... Pope John Paul II

Lenten Action.

Do an unnecessary act of love today, remembering God's love for you.

Prayer

Give me a perfect heart to receive your work, that I may bring forth fruit in patience.


31 posted on 02/28/2008 7:02:48 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Thursday, Third Week of  Lent
"If it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you." (Luke 11:20)


Reflection.

-- The Beautiful Hands of a Priest--
We need them in life's early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek them when tasting life's woes.
At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness;
Their dignity stands all alone;
And when we are tempted and wander,
To pathways of shame and of sin,
It's the hand of a priest that will absolve us--
Not once, but again and again.
And when we are taking life's partner,
Other hands may prepare us a feast,
But the hand that will bless and unite us--
Is the beautiful hand of a priest.
God bless them and keep them all holy,
For the Host which their fingers caress;
When can a poor sinner do better,
Than to ask Him to guide thee and bless?
When the hour of death comes upon us,
May our courage and strength be increased,
By seeing raised over us in blessing--
The beautiful hands of a priest.


Lenten Action.

Invite a non-practicing friend back to Mass with you

Prayer

O God, you sent your Son, Jesus, to bring eternal life to those who believe. I join him in praying for laborers for your harvest. May your Holy Spirit inspire men and women to continue his mission through your priesthood, diaconate, religious life and lay ministry. May this same Spirit make known your will for my life.


32 posted on 02/28/2008 7:04:19 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Friday, Third Week of  Lent
Fridays of  Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
"You shall love the Lord your God." (Mark 12:30)


Reflection.

Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of Saint Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of the first epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.
I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: "Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will now show you the way which surpasses all others." For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.
Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed, I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.
.. Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus

Lenten Action.

A diet of amoral and immoral programs can and will corrupt your values. Do you control the media you watch and listen to?

Prayer

O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured. 


33 posted on 02/29/2008 8:47:01 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Active Calendar for March
34 posted on 03/04/2008 9:29:30 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Saturday, Third Week of  Lent
"O God, be merciful to me a sinner!" (Luke 18:13)


Reflection.

A friend has been drinking. Foolishly we get into the car with him, and he has an accident in which we are hurt. We eventually forgive our friend for his share of the responsibility in the accident. Another day comes when our friend is drinking again. He insists that we get in the car with him. Remembering our past injury, we refuse. But because we have not forgotten, our friend insists that we have not truly forgiven at all. In fact, we have forgiven. But, we have also learned from our painful past experience, and choose not to repeat it.

Suppose one has forgiven an injury and experienced reconciliation with the injurer--a process of two distinct stages. In such situations, it is not helpful to repeatedly bring our remembrance of the injury into the relationship. Discretion and a willingness to let the past be the past are called for, for the sake of the relationship--call this a type of "forgetting" if you will.

Lenten Action.

Reflect on your life with God.



Prayer

Have mercy on me, O God. (Psalm 51)


35 posted on 03/04/2008 9:35:33 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Sunday, Fourth Week of  Lent
"So must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in Him." (John 3:14,15)


Reflection.

Faith always takes us on a journey beyond the obvious and tangible. This was often lacking in those who experienced Jesus and His teachings. When He spoke of offering His Body and Blood, they exclaimed: "How can this man give us flesh to eat?" They totally missed the spiritual dimension of His words and message. He was pointing them to a higher realm of understanding, while they chose to remain on an earthly level leading only to darkness and death.
Faith does not come easy. While we see and know people for whom faith seems like second nature, for many of us it is a gift that reveals itself only with the utmost diligence and care. It usually begins to appear in times of transition, distress and/or sickness, for it is in moments like these that the Lord is able to get our attention long enough, so that we can hear His voice above the noise and confusion of our daily lives. Whenever trouble breaks into the serenity of our daily existence, we can be sure the Divine potter is at work trying to mold us into something beautiful.
....Fr. Dominic P. Irace

Lenten Action.

Pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith or race. Say thank you to one of your former teachers.

Prayer

O Jesus, true Bread of Eternal Life, appease my hunger.


36 posted on 03/04/2008 9:36:16 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Monday, Forth Week of  Lent
I am about to create new heavens and a new earth. (Isaiah 65:17)


Reflection.

"I am with you always, to the close of the age". These words of Jesus assure us that in proclaiming and living the Gospel of charity we are not alone. Once again, during this Lent .. he invites us to return to the Father, who is waiting for us with open arms to transform us into living and effective signs of his merciful love....  Pope John Paul II


Lenten Action.

Take some intense time with God.

Prayer
As I arise today, may the strength of God pilot me, the power of God uphold me, the wisdom of God guide me. May the eye of God look before me, the ear of God hear me, the word of God speak for me. May the hand of God protect me, the way of God lie before me, the shield of God defend me, the host of God save me. May Christ shield me today...Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. Amen... Saint Patrick of Ireland, Bishop and Missionary


A Prayer To St. Joseph
O blessed Joseph, faithful guardian of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, protector of thy chaste spouse, the virgin Mother of God, I choose thee this day to be my special patron and advocate and I firmly resolve to honor thee all the days of my life.
Therefore I humbly beseech thee to receive me as thy client, to instruct me in every doubt, to comfort me in every affliction, to obtain for me and for all the knowledge and love of the Heart of Jesus, and finally to defend and protect me at the hour of my death. Amen


37 posted on 03/04/2008 9:37:16 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Tuesday, Fourth Week of  Lent
I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple. (Ezekiel 47:1)


Reflection.

Holy water is a means of spiritual wealth -- a sacramental that remits venial sin. The Church strongly urges its use, especially when dangers threaten. The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with this blessed water.
St. Theresa of Avila on holy water: "From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the cross, but return; so holy water must have great value."

Lenten Action.

How do you listen to God's voice and call?

Prayer

O Jesus, teach me to see only You in my superiors.


38 posted on 03/04/2008 9:37:57 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Wednesday, Fourth Week of  Lent
"If you believed Moses you would then believe me, for it was about me that he wrote." (John 5:46)


Reflection.

That first email was stiff and stilted, commenting about something on her page. It was not decorated with cheerful emotions, or saucy in humor. But it was a start.
She wrote back, and I replied, and soon we were emailing regularly. The stiffness and anger faded eventually to forgiveness. We each saw the wrongs we'd both committed against each other and asked forgiveness.  Then something found its way into the messages that I had missed for ten long years. Love. The bond between mother and daughter had been ignited once more.  I described in detail her three grandchildren: Michael, age five; David, age three; and Chrissy, a three-month-old babe. My mother had only seen pictures of them through other family members. I described them to her now. How they smiled. Their fears, and their joys. Their distinct and marvelous personalities. When they said something funny, I would type it in an email and send it to her, introducing her to their charm, and the sheer miracle of their existence.
She jotted off details of my childhood, tidbits I had forgotten. Funny stories to tell my children someday. Over a distance of 2,000 miles, she was getting to know her grandchildren, and reacquainting herself with me.
One day, an email arrived saying she was coming for a visit, if that was okay. Tears streaming down my face, I typed my reply, "Yes, come. The kids would love to see you. I would love to see you."
She came. She saw for herself all the details I'd written about my children. She held them in her arms, and smelled their hair. She hugged me, and met the man of my dreams, my husband.
While she was visiting, we wrote to my grandmother. Growing up, I hadn't known my grandmother very well. My mother and she had also been estranged. Funny how generations repeat themselves sometimes.
Gradually we began an email relationship, and now we converse regularly, spanning the miles and the lost years with the click of a send button. She has a sense of humor I adore, and her wit is razor sharp. I'm proud to call her Grandma. Even prouder that she calls me granddaughter.
I hear all the time that the internet is full of garbage and sex. I would say yes, if you are looking for it. But the internet is also full of rewarding experiences for those with the courage to take them.
It is a resource for finding lost relatives, educating your children, learning the wonderful diversity of humanity, and most importantly to me, keeping touch with family and friends. Don't fear this technology. Embrace the good in it!
I smile now to think I almost argued my husband out of this computer. It's one argument I'm glad I lost. The funny thing is, my husband rarely uses the computer. But I'm fairly sure I've made good use of it. My mother and Grandmother agree. ...
Karman Wilson

Lenten Question

Q: Aside from Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent, what are its principal events?
A: There are a variety of saints' days which fall during Lent, and some of these change from year to year since the dates of Lent itself change based on when Easter falls. However, the Sundays during the Lenten season commemorate special events in the life of Our Lord, such as his Transfiguration and his Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week. Holy week climaxes with Holy Thursday, on which Christ celebrated the first Mass, Good Friday, on which he was Crucified, and Holy Saturday -- the last day of Lent -- during which Our Lord lay in the Tomb before his Resurrection on Easter Sunday, the first day after Lent.

Lenten Action.

Give up drinking for today; give the money saved to the poor.

Prayer

Lord, during this Lenten season nourish us with Your word of life and make us one in love and prayer.


39 posted on 03/06/2008 8:47:33 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Thursday, Fourth Week of  Lent
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." (Isaiah 49:15)


Reflection.

Flower of Obedience

 I met Her in a garden,
A Lady made of stone.
There was a look about Her face,
Unfamiliar, peaceful grace.
I sat and whispered at Her feet
In a flower garden sweet.
As a little child orphaned and alone.
I felt a kinship in my heart,
Pain and sorrow seemed to part.
With each and every passing day,
I made haste to find my way
To come before this Lady made of stone.
As a little child orphaned and alone.
Speaking to Her of my sad affair,
In secret hoping someone would care.
She held one hand upon Her heart,
The other open wide.
How I longed to place a flower at Her side.
As a little child orphaned and alone.
But to Her no flower could be given.
To pick flowers from the garden was forbidden.
Having no flower to give that day,
I simply thought, "I must obey."
When to my surprise I heard Her say,
"My little child, cannot you see?
Your obedience means more to me."
How could I have ever known?
She wanted me for Her very own.
I found a real Mother in place of stone.
Now Her little child, no more orphaned or alone.

                                                           .... Cindy Speltz


Lenten Action.

Say a special Rosary for the unborn.

Prayer

We fly to your protection, most holy Mother of God; please listen to our petitions and needs, and deliver us from all dangers.


40 posted on 03/06/2008 8:48:42 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Friday, Fourth Week of  Lent
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us." (Wisdom 2:12)


Reflection.

There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand. 
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord, and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." 
Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of Him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. .
...Saint Bernardine of Siena

Lenten Fact

Since Lent is a penitential season of preparation for Easter, the Stations of the Cross, which follow the path of Christ from Pontius Pilate's praetorium to Christ's tomb have been a popular devotion in parishes. In the 16th century, this pathway was officially entitled the "Via Dolorosa" (Sorrowful Way) or simply Way of the Cross or Stations of the Cross.

Lenten Action.

Think about St. Joseph's role in salvation history. Think about what God might be asking of you.

Prayer

O Great Saint Joseph, you were completely obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Obtain for me the grace to know the state of life that God in his providence has chosen for me. Since my happiness on earth, and perhaps even my final happiness in heaven, depends on this choice, let me not be deceived in making it.


41 posted on 03/07/2008 10:13:19 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Saturday, Fourth Week of  Lent
Lord, my God, in you I take refuge! (Psalm 7:2)


Reflection.

"Jesus embodies the rule of God in which no one is beyond God's forgiveness no matter who they are or what they have done. Endowed with the presence and power of God through baptism by John in the Jordan, Jesus comes proclaiming that the rule of God supplants all others now. When the scribes and the Pharisees chide him for eating with the traitorous Jewish tax collectors, Jesus responds: 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.' The answer to my parishioner's burning question [about divine forgiveness] was, of course: No, you cannot be too bad to be forgiven. You can only be too good. [For example: Too self-righteous to be humble, compassionate, or receptive to God's spirit.]" ... Lewis B. Smedes

Lenten Fact

Tradition holds that our Blessed Mother visited daily the scenes of our Lord's passion.

Lenten Action.

Reach out to someone who is alienated from your group.

Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking, as He, did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right. If I surrender to His Will, that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever in the next.
Amen. 


42 posted on 03/08/2008 10:04:59 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Sunday, Fifth Week of  Lent
Then a voice came from the sky: "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." (John 12:28)


Reflection.

Prayer to be Freed of the Seven Deadly Sins

O meek Savior and Prince of Peace, implant in me the virtues of gentleness and patience. Let me curb the fury of anger and restrain all resentment and impatience so as to overcome evil with good, attain your peace, and rejoice in your love.

O Model of humility, divest me of all pride and arrogance. Let me acknowledge my weakness and sinfulness, so that I may bear mockery and contempt for your sake and esteem myself as lowly in your sight.

O Teacher of abstinence, help me to serve you rather than our appetites. Keep me from gluttony - the inordinate love of food and drink and let me hunger and thirst for your justice.

O Lover of purity, remove all lust from my heart, so that I may serve you with a pure mind and a chaste body.

O Father of the poor, help me to avoid all covetousness for earthly goods and give me a love for heavenly things. Inspire me to give to the needy, just as you gave your life that I might inherit eternal treasures.

O Exemplar of love, keep me from all envy and ill-will. Let the grace of your love dwell in me that I may rejoice in the happiness of others and bewail their adversities.

O zealous Lover of souls, keep me from all sloth of mind or body. Inspire me with zeal for your glory, so that I may do all things for you and in you.

Lenten Fact

Passiontide is the last two weeks of Lent, when the readings and prayers of the liturgy focus on the Passion of Our Lord. The word 'passion', in the Christian sense, does not mean an intense emotion; it refers to the historical events of Jesus' suffering and death. Although for several centuries the Fifth Sunday of Lent was known as Passion Sunday, after the Second Vatican Council this name was restored to the Sunday at beginning of Holy Week , formerly called Palm Sunday. As a penitential season of the Church, Passiontide is evidently even more ancient than Lent.

Lenten Action.

Reach out to someone who is alienated from your group.

Prayer

Father, help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior lives with you in glory and promised to remain with us until the end of time. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Amen. 


43 posted on 03/09/2008 2:27:41 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Monday, Fifth Week of  Lent
"Nor do I condemn you. You may go." (John 8:11)


Reflection.

Forgiveness, in its truest and highest form, is a free act of
love. But precisely because it is an act of love, it has its own
intrinsic demands: the first of which is <respect for the truth>.
God alone is absolute truth. But He made the human heart open to  the desire for truth, which He then fully revealed in His
Incarnate Son. <Hence we are all called to live the truth>
.... Pope John Paul II

Lenten Fact.

In 1342, the Franciscans were appointed as guardians of the shrines of the Holy Land. The faithful received indulgences for praying at the following stations: At Pilate's house, where Christ met His mother, where He spoke to the women, where He met Simon of Cyrene, where the soldiers stripped Him of His garments, where He was nailed to the cross, and at His tomb.

Lenten Action.

Spend the day fasting from consumerism.

Prayer.

Ever-living God, help us to celebrate our joy in the resurrection of the Lord and to express in our lives the love we celebrate.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and
ever. Amen.


44 posted on 03/11/2008 8:43:06 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Tuesday, Fifth Week of  Lent
Because He spoke this way, many came to believe in Him. (John 8:30)


Reflection.

Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by them. 
We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig, we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides. 
For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ, "In Him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God." The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labors, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training. 
The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it
. ..Saint John of the Cross

Lenten Fact.

When the Moslem Turks blocked the access to the Holy Land, reproductions of the Stations of the Cross  were erected at popular spiritual centers, including the Dominican Friary at Cordova and Poor Clare Convent of Messina (early 1400s); Nuremberg (1468); Louvain (1505); Bamberg, Fribourg and Rhodes (1507); and Antwerp 1520). Many of these stations were reproduced by renowned artists and are considered masterpieces today.

Lenten Action.

Sit in the Chapel for fifteen minutes of quiet prayer. Just sit there affirming your belief in God's presence with you and of God's love for you. Let it be a prayer of affirmation. Don't ask for anything!

Prayer.

O Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, full of compassion and maker of peace, you lived in poverty and suffered persecution for the cause of justice. You chose the Cross as the path to glory to show us the way of salvation. May we receive the word of the Gospel joyfully and live by Your example as heirs and citizens of Your kingdom. Amen.


45 posted on 03/11/2008 8:43:56 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Wednesday, Fifth Week of  Lent
"If you live according to my teaching, you are truly my disciples." (John 8:31)


Reflection.

O Eternal Truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To You do I sigh day and night. When I first came to  know You, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. 
I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you. But I did not find it until I embraced "the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever." He was calling me and saying: "I am the way of truth, I am the life." 
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed you fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
... Saint Augustine

Lenten Fact.

St. Leonard Casanova (1676-1751) of Porto Maurizio, Italy,  reportedly erected over 600 sets of the Stations of the Cross throughout Italy.

Lenten Action.

Surprise someone with an act of kindness.

Prayer.

God of mercy, You wash away our sins in water, You give us a new birth in the Spirit, and redeem us in the blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ's resurrection, increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew Your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


46 posted on 03/13/2008 10:06:01 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Thursday, Fifth Week of  Lent
"I solemnly assure you, if a man is true to my word he shall never see death." (John 8:51)


Reflection.

St. Bonaventure once said that the day you no longer burn with love and concern for souls, many others will die of the cold. Where can we go to increase our love? To whom can we turn to find help? I am convinced that the Holy Spirit has raised up hopes in this century to focus our attention and to concentrate our devotion upon the Holy Family. Because in the Holy Family we are going to find the source of strength. We are going to find the encouragement we need when we have distressful losses on all sides.
The Holy Family is the place where we go when we feel like weak nobodies, incapable of withstanding the onslaught of the enemies of the Church, because Christ has raised up the Holy Family as the model of the Christian home, to be sure, but as the nucleus of the New Covenant Church-family of God showing that through detachment, through renunciation, through poverty, through mortification, through trials and sufferings, the war will be won. The Savior will be born and salvation will spill out in all directions and cover the earth. ...
Scott Hahn

Lenten Fact.

In the early 3rd century, Lent was lengthened to 6 days. About 800 AD it was changed to 40 days.
Those 40 days correspond with Christ's 40 days in the wilderness
.


Lenten Action.

Invite a friend who has been away to come to Church with you! Participate as fully as you can at Mass

Prayer.

O Jesus, who out of love for me were willing to submit to Your own creatures, teach me to obey blindly.


47 posted on 03/13/2008 10:06:38 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Friday, Fifth Week of  Lent
Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
Lord of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart...to you I have entrusted my cause. (Jeremiah 20:12)


Reflection.

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as His friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that is we expect to please Him and receive an abundance of His graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through His most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.
All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding His life we find that he is the best example. 
What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, He will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps Him near. 
Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led Him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For is at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.

....Saint Teresa of Avila

Lenten Fact.

Wenceslaus, king of Bohemia, being seized with a malady which rendered it dangerous to his health to take Lenten diet, applied, in the year 1297, to Pope Boniface VIII., for leave to eat meat. The Pontiff commissioned two Cistercian abbots to inquire into the real state of the prince's health; they were to grant the dispensation sought for, if they found it necessary, but on the following conditions: that the king had not bound himself by a vow, for life, to fast during Lent; that the Fridays, the Saturdays, and the vigil of St. Mathias, were to be excluded from the dispensation; and, lastly, that the king was not to take his meal in presence of others, and was to observe moderation in what he took.


Lenten Action.

Think about what God is asking of you in your current situation
.

Prayer.

O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future.


48 posted on 03/15/2008 9:42:54 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Saturday, Fifth Week of  Lent
Jesus would die for the nation—and not for this nation only, but to gather into one all the dispersed children of God. (John 11:51-52)


Reflection.

Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light, and causes me to know your truth. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.
.... Saint Catherine of Siena

Lenten Question

Q: Why do we fast and abstain during Lent?
A:We fast and abstain:  Because Jesus told us to. "Unless the grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it will produce much fruit." Unless you do penance you shall all likewise perish. Whoever does not renounce all that he has, cannot be my disciple. The Christian must take up his Cross daily and follow Christ. Walk in the spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. St. Paul says, those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If you live according to the flesh, you will die. Whoever seeks to lose his life, will gain it. Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Many live as enemies of the Cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly. And their glory is their shame, with minds set on earthly things. If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God. Enter by the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction and those who enter it are many. For the gate  is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.



Lenten Action.

Deliberately count your BLESSINGS in a prayerful way toda
y.

Prayer

Hear, Lord, the prayers we offer from contrite hearts. Have pity on us as we acknowledge our sins. Lead us back to the way
of holiness. Protect us now and always from the wounds of sin. May we ever keep safe in all its fullness the gift your love once
gave us and your mercy now restores. Amen.

Stations Of The Cross

49 posted on 03/16/2008 7:46:46 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Passion (Palm) Sunday
They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks across its back, and he sat on it. (Mark 11:7)

Reflection.
..His coming is a revelation, a radical, total revelation of God's holiness."Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory...". Precisely this Week which humanly speaking is filled to the brim with suffering, humiliation, despoliation, in a word, with the kenosis of God this Week contains the revelation of God's holiness, the culmination of world history. "Holy, Holy, Holy.... Hosanna in the highest"....
To embrace the Cross on this day, to pass it from hand to hand, is a very eloquent gesture. It is like saying: Lord, we do not want to stay with you only at the time of the "Hosannas", but with your help we want to accompany you on the way of the Cross as did Mary, your mother and ours, and the Apostle John. Yes, O Lord, because "You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6:68), and we have believed that precisely your Cross is the word of life, of eternal life!

Lenten Fact

According to the account of a fifth-century Spanish pilgrim to the  Holy Land, Passion Sunday Mass was celebrated in Jerusalem at the Church of  the Holy Sepulchre. After this the people were invited to meet again in the  afternoon at the Mount of Olives, in the Church of Eleona (the grotto of  the Our Father). They then proceeded to the Church of the Ascension for a  service consisting of hymns and antiphons, readings and prayers, where at  five o'clock in the afternoon the Gospel of the palms was read and the  procession set out for the city. The people responded to the antiphons with  the acclamation, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord," as we  say even today.

Lenten Action.

A diet of amoral and immoral programs can and will corrupt your values. Do you control the media you watch and listen to?.

Prayer

Lord, you have satisfied our hunger with this eucharistic food. The death of your Son gives us hope and strengthens our faith.
May his resurrection give us perseverance and lead us to salvation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


50 posted on 03/16/2008 7:47:38 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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