LENT, DAY 27, MARCH 31, MON.

REFLECTION:  CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING:  DIGNITY OF WORK AND RIGHTS OF WORKERS

The opportunity to work to earn a living is a right of all people.  All workers have the right to a fair wage, to organize themselves and to work in good conditions.

PRAYERS:  BE ANGRY AND DO NOT SIN; DO NOT LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON YOUR ANGER.  Ephesians 4:26

Try as I might, Lord, my anger still prevails.  Try as I might, Lord, my anger causes me to sin.  Blessed Redeemer, guard my mouth from saying angry words that can damage relationships.  Guard my mind from thinking angry thoughts that can make me bitter.  Place my eyes on the cross of Christ, and show me the way to forgiveness.  Relationships, though often so full of joy and happiness, can also be a heavy cross to carry.  Let your Son, Jesus Christ, calm my frustrations and heal my relationships with his powerful forgiveness.  Let the sun never go down on my anger, O Lord.  Amen.

PART OF THE SAME MOVEMENT:  YOU HAVE TURNED MY MOURNING INTO DANCING. Psalm 30:11

Jesus calls us to gratitude.  He calls us to recognize that gladness and sadness are never separate, that joy and sorrow really belong together, and that mourning and dancing are part of the same movement. That is why Jesus calls us to be grateful for every moment that we have lived and to claim our unique journey as God’s way to mold our hearts to greater conformity with God’s own.  The cross is the main symbol of our faith, and it invites us to find hope where we see pain and to reaffirm the resurrection where we see death.  The call to be grateful is a call to trust that every moment of our life can be claimed as the way of the cross that leads us to new life.  Can we be grateful for everything that has happened in our life–not just the good things but for all that has brought us to today?

GRACIOUS GOD, TURN MY MOURNING INTO DANCING.

Have a fruitful Lent.

 

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LENT, DAY 26, SUN. MARCH 30

Yes I am a day late posting these prayers, sick on Sunday. but will get back to posting daily. God bless you all for your patience.

REFLECTION:  THIS WEEK:  We visit our brothers and sisters in Malawi.  READ Timothy’s Story of Hope and WATCH a video about CRS’ agriculture projects at http://www.crsricebowl.org/videos.

PRAYERS;  So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.  Matthew 19:6

My God, divorce hurts. Separating the one-flesh union causes great pain to a great number of people.  Certainly the husband and wife are hurt when a relationship dissolves.  Yet the pain of a broken marriage sends a shock wave through children and parents, family and friends, neighbors and acquaintances.  Lord, give me all that I need to carry the crosses of relationships.  Uphold me in my time of weakness.  Amen  (by Trevor Sutton)

‘I SHALL NOT WANT’  THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERS…Psalm 23:1

Oh, If we could sit for just one half hour a day doing nothing except taking a simple word or phrase from the bible and holding it in our heart and mind.  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  Say it three times.  We know it’s not true, because we want many things.  That is exactly why we’re so nervous.  But if we keep saying the truth, the real truth–“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”–and let that truth descend from our mind into our heart, gradually those words will be written on the walls of our inner holy place.  That becomes the space in which we can receive our colleagues and our work, our family and our friends, and the people we will meet during the day.

Lord, hear my prayer.

Have a thoughtful Lent

LENT, DAY 25, MARCH 29

REFLECTION:  THOUGHTS FROM POPE FRANCIS-  “If you break a computer it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs, the dramas of so many people end up becoming the norm…If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat., that’s not news, it seems normal.  It cannot be this way!”  I just heard a new song on KLOVE:  some of the words are “Why don’t You do something, and God said “I did, I made you.” “If not us, than who?…………..Not sure the name, but it is a terrific song and goes very well with all these Reflections for Lent.

PRAYERS:    I will set shepherds over them who will care for the, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:4

Good Shepherd, being a caretaker has drained me in many ways. When I want rest, my help is needed.  When I want a night off, my vigilance is required.  When I need care, there is no one around to care for me.  O Lord, the cross of health that I carry as a caretaker is draining.  Restore my soul.  Renew my heart.  Reinvigorate my ability to care for others.  You are the Good Shepherd ever looking after your flock.  Let me never be ashamed to say that you are my Good Shepherd. Amen.  by Trevor Sutton.   (I can’t say this applies to me at the moment, however, it can happen to anyone at any time.  PLEASE PRAY FOR THE CARETAKERS OF THE ILL.  I AM THINKING OF A FRIEND OF MIND IN PARTICULAR WHOM IS ALL OF A SUDDEN TAKING CARE OF HER MOTHER WHO WAS HEALTHY AS CAN BE LAST WEEK AND THEN HAD A STROKE.  PLEASE PRAY FOR BOTH OF THEM

FAITHFUL TO THE CALL;  Come, let us return to the LORD; for it Is He who has torn, and He will heal us.  Hosea 6:1

Jesus wanted his disciples then and now to understand that we are sent into the world just as he was sent into the world–to heal, to cure and to proclaim the good news.  Trust in that healing power.  Trust that if we are living as the beloved, we will heal people whether or not we are aware of it.  But we have to be faithful to that call. Healing happens often by leading people to gratitude, because the world is full of resentment.  What is resentment?  IT IS COLD ANGER. I’M ANGRY WITH HIM. I’M ANGRY AT THIS SITUATION.  THIS IS NOT THE WAY I WANT IT.  We tend to divide our past into good things to remember with gratitude and painful things to accept or reject.  Once we accept this division, however, we quickly develop a mentality in which we hope to collect more good memories than bad memories, more things to be grateful for than things to be resentful about, more things to celebrate than to complain about.

CREATE IN ME A GRATEFUL HEART, GENTLE JESUS, SO THAT I CAN SPREAD YOUR HEALING MESSAGE.

Did you know that Mary, Jesus mother, was his first Disciple?

Have a forgiving Lent

MEDITATION SLOWS CELLULAR AGING

From NEWSMAX March issue:  In recent years, meditation has proven to be beneficial for numerous maladies including high blood pressure, chronic pain, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, stress, and depression.  Now, the ancient practice for relaxing the body and quieting the mind is being credited with forestalling the aging process.

Want evidence?  Consider this:  Research from Emory University in Atlanta found that the regular practice of Zen meditation may prevent the normal age-related decline of gray matter volume in the brain and performance on attention-related tasks that’s been observed in healthy older adults.

Moderate amounts of meditation may increase the size of the hippocampus (which normally shrinks with aging).similar to the way strength training can build muscle mass, notes Charles L. Raison, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and family and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona  in Tucson.

What’s more, research from the University of California, San Francisco, found that mindfulness meditation techniques seem to slow the rate of cellular aging, perhaps by preserving the length of telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes.  “Telomeres are a marker of aging.”  Dr. Raison explains, “because when telomeres start to get too short, DNA unravels, and the biological aging process can accelerate.”  So meditation may have a protective effect on cellular aging in the brain and body–which is a double dose of good news. 

Note:  my granddaughter says that mindfulness meditation takes practice, but it sounds as if it is all worth it,  I will keep practicing if it means longer health and better memory.

 

LENT, DAY 24, MARCH 28

RECLECTION:  A SIMPLE MEAL:   Fish is a common meal in the island nation of the Philippines.  SHARE a simple meal by trying this week’s recipe for Pescado al Horno.  PRAY together for those who are hungry.  GIVE the money you saved by sharing this meal to your Rice Bowl.

PRAYERS:  The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Changing my plans in an instant is not easy, Holy Lord.  When my health changes, my plans must change as well.  When the health of a loved one changes, our plans must change accordingly.  Lord, establish my steps and give me your Word as a lamp unto my feet.  Let me trust in you even when my plans change on account of health.  The path on which I carry this cross may change a hundred times over.  Yet the certainty of your  loving kindness, O God, never changes. Amen

THE CORE OF SPITRITUAL LIFE:  I WILL HEAL THEIR DISLOYALTY; I WILL LOVE THEM FREELY…HOSEA 14:4

Freedom comes when you know with your heart that you are loved.  If you could accept and believe that you are unconditionally loved and embraced, you could go all over the world and never be lonely.  This is a struggle.  But if you experience it you will know what Jesus meant when he said: “You will be leaving me alone, yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”…

Freedom is the core of the spiritual life.  It comes from claiming in your heart that unconditional first love that allows you to love your neighbors freely and un possessively.  Jesus shares this word of hope in our world full of violence–violence in our families, in our communities. In our personal relationships, a moral life is not enough.  We must also live the mystical life, a life which is embraced by the God who says, “I love you fully and unconditionally.”

HOLY REDEEMER, LET MY HEART KNOW FREEDOM–THE FREEDOM OF YOUR LOVE.

Have a meaningful Lent

CONNIE’S MEMORIES; LENT

It’s strange the things we remember that make life growing up with our families special.  I was fortunate to be born into a family that believed in God, were strong Christian Catholics, and taught us kids the value of going to church each Sunday, of thanking God for what He gave us and enabled us to have, and best of all they taught us to take time out of a busy day to pray.  Especially during Lent.

Before I left home there were 6 of us children(one came later) and from the time I can remember, all my life, we said the Rosary every night during Lent.  No mater if my Father had to go back to work after supper, he came home around 5, we ate supper, did dishes, and ALL knelt down and said the Rosary.  If you don’t know what the Rosary is, it is the string of beads, we Catholics also call our Prayer Beads, they are blessed by the Priest, and saying the Rosary consists of The Apostle’s Creed(I Believe) The Our Father, Hair Mary, and Glory Be to the Father.  And they are said over and over, one person says the first part of the prayer, and we all answered with the second half. It takes about 20 minutes.  Believe me, by the time there were six of us kids, all kneeling down, it got quite lively.  But as a family it brought us closer together, and we had no question that our parents loved God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and us.   It is a very wonderful feeling to know you belong.

The other thing I remember is that If I was still awake when my parents went to bed, I could hear them saying their prayers on their knees each night, praying for our family and thanking God.  It is a very comforting feeling when you are a kid to know that your parents love us and each other enough to pray together on their knees after a very long day.

God bless all you parents out there if you pray together with each other and your children, that is the best way to show love for each other and also teach your children to take time to pray.

God bless you all.

LENT, DAY 23, MARCH 27, THURS.

REFLECTION:   JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME;  Typhoon Bopha was the strongest cyclone ever to hit the Philippine Island of Mindanao.  More than 1,000 people died.  Storms can be fun, but are also dangerous.  How many umbrellas do you have in your home?  GIVE 75 cents to your Rice Bowl for each one.

PRAYERS:     PROVE ME, O LORD, AND TRY ME; TEST MY HEART AND MY MIIND.   PSALM 26:2

Outwardly, I may look fine and perfectly healthy.  Inwardly, I am often full of worry and anxiety.  Lord, give me inner peace and free me from the tumult of my heart and mind.  You have created me and know me better than I know myself, O God.  The crosses of health that I carry weigh heavily on me and drive me to worry.  Precious Lord, enable me to place all of my concern onto you, trusting that you have a plan for my life.  Amen.  (TAKE UP YOUR CROSS, by Travor Sutton) ( I my self have to say that I have mostly found that inner peace, and offer my health issues up to God and ask him to make me well, or help me cope, then I go on with my life. Since I can only control what I do there is no point in worrying about what is in God’s control.  This prayer is so true.)

LIVING REMINDERS:  O COME, LET US SING JOYFULLY TO THE LORD; LET US MAKE A JOYFUJL NOISE TO THE ROCK OF OUR SALVATION.  PSALM 95:1

To be living reminders of God, we must be concerned first of all with our own intimacy with God.  Once we have heard, seen, watched and touched the Word who is life, we cannot do other than be living reminders.  Once our lives are connected with his, we will speak about him, sing his praise and proclaim his great deeds, not in the sense of prayers, but in the sense of prayerful life, a life lived in connection with Christ, should be our fist and overriding concern.

DEAR GOD, MAKE ME A LIVING REMINDER OF YOUR LOVE AND MERCY.