LENT, DAY 2, WED. MARCVH 26

REFLECTION:  READ  Matthew 25:31-46     “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  By giving the Leban their first house, their neighbors responded as Jesus would.

PRAYERS:  And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Luke 7:13

Sometimes O Lord, it is much harder to see someone else suffer than it is to suffer myself.  I want so badly to take the pain away for my loved one.  I want so badly for comfort to be restored.  Heavenly Father,  I know that it is not in my power to take pain away; you alone re the Great Physician of body and soul.  Comfort me as I take up the crosses of health for others.  Place your words of comfort in my mouth so that I can share them with others. Amen. (by Trevor Sutton TAKE UP YOUR CROSS  (It is always hard to know what to say when I know someone I love is suffering, I never really thought about asking God for words of comfort. I will do this next time.)

WE ARE NOT FORGOTTEN:  But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind…Deuteronomy 4:9

It is central to the biblical tradition that God’s love for his people should not be forgotten.  It should remain with us in the present.  When everything is dark, when we are surrounded by despairing voices, when we do not see any exits, then we can find salvation in a remembered love, a love which is not simply a wistful recollection of a bygone past but a living force which sustains us in the present.  Through memory, love transcends the limits of time and offers hope at any moment of our lives.

DEAR GOD, LET ME NEVER FORGET YOUR LOVE FOR US.

 

LENT, DAY 21, MARCH 25, TUES.

REFLECTION;  STATION 6 VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS;

CRS Philippines is CRS’ oldest country program. CRS has been helping Filipinos in need since 1945. Like Veronica, we’re called to stick by those who suffer throughout their joys and challenges.  GIVE 75 cents to your Rice Bowl.

PRAYERS;

A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.  Deuteronomy 25:15

Heavenly Father, I know that growing old is a true gift from you.  Yet the gift of old age does come with struggles of its own-aches and pains, pills and prescriptions, inabilities and insecurities.  Lord, as I take up the crosses of my health, be with me.  Every breath I take is a gift from you.  Every day I live is an opportunity to sing your praises.  Let me carry the cross of growing older with patient joy and godly wisdom.  Amen.  (this is a wonderful prayer to share with older people you know.)

OUR UNIQUE VOCATION:  I DELIGHT TO DO YOUR WILL, OH MY GOD. Psalm 40:8

You get out and do what the gospel is saying. Jean Vanier is a prophet for me.  He did something that I could relate to–working with mentally handicapped people.  There are some people who go to prison, who develop a whole nonviolent strategy around that.  There are people who live very simple lives of prayer.  Some live in monasteries, some as hermits, some in families.  There are doctors and lawyers who live as witnesses.  There are people who use their wealth to bring about things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.  We have to get in touch with what is our unique vocation, to be a sign of hope in the world.  By: Henri J.M.Nouwen

PLEASE, GOD, MAKE ME A SIGN OF HOPE IN THIS WORLD. 

Have a blessed Lent

 

 

LENT, DAY 20, MON. MARCH 24, HALF WAY THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

REFLECTION;     CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING?  OPTION FOR THE POOR

As a community of faith, we have the obligation to reach out to those who are most in need.  The Gospel calls us to take action on behalf of the most vulnerable members of our society. 

PRAYERS:  The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.  Psalm 41:3

Health is the silence of the organs, O Lord.  Be with me when my organs cry out in pain and illness overtakes me.  Sustain me as I carry the crosses of health.  When it is your desire,  Good Shepherd, prolong my illnesses.  Though I may not understand why you choose not to restore me to health, let me trust in your loving plan for my days.  Amen. (I do honestly have a problem with this prayer. Oh, how I hate to give up control, as if I really were in control?)

A CLEANSING LOVE            WASH AND BE CLEAN?  2 Kings 5:13

Oh, Lord, you kneel before me; you hold my naked feet in your hands, and you look up at me and smile.  Within me I feel the protest arising, “No, Lord, you shall never wash my feet.”  It is as if I were resisting the love you offer me, I want to say,  “You don’t really know me, my dark feelings, my pride, my lust, my greed.  I may speak the right words, but my heart is so far from you.  You must have someone else in mind, not me.”  But you look at me with utter tenderness, saying, “I want you to be with me.  I want you to have a full share in my life.  I want you to belong to me as much as I belong to my Father.  I want to wash you completely clean so that you and I can be one and so that you can do to theirs what I have done to you.”    I have to let go of all my fears, distrust, doubts and anguish and simply let you wash me clean and make me your friend who you love with a love that has no bounds.

WASH ME CLEAN, TENDER JESUS, SO THAT I MAY SERVE YOU.

Have a forgiving Lent

 

 

LENT, DAY 19, SUN. MARCH 23

REFLECTION: THIS WEEK:  We visit our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. READ the Lebans’ Story of Hope and WATCH a video about humanitarian relief in the Philippines at www.crsricebowl.org/videos

PRAYERS:    THE CROSSES OF HEALTH   O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Psalm 63:1

Lord, you have abundantly blessed me in body and soul, heart and mind.  More than there are stars in the sky, you have provided me with countless blessing to preserve my life.  Nevertheless, my soul still has thirsts and my body is still prone to faintness.  O God, as I carry the crosses of my health, protect me from ever being overwhelmed with want.  Let me earnestly seek you for all my needs of both body and soul.  You alone have formed me in my mother’s womb and you alone keep me going. Amen.

UNLIMITED LOVE:  AND hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts…Romans 5:5

When we are hurt we want to know why, and we spend time with psychologists, and it is good, and counselors and psychiatrists to explore a little bit why we got hurt, where we got hurt.  Sometimes we discover that we were abused, or we discover that we were not wanted.  Or we discover that we were manipulated or exploited, and we get mad or get angry.  It’s good to know where it comes from.  But you can only look at the reality in a forgiving way if you know that before any human hand touched you, you were already written in the palms of God’s hands.  That it was the God of the first love who molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother’s womb.  When you realize that you are unlimitedly loved, then you can say, “Oh, oh my father, my mother, my brother, my sister, my church, my community didn’t give me all I wanted but I can forgive them.”  by Henri J.M.Nouwen

WITH YOUR GUIDANCE, MERCIFUL GOD, TEACH ME TO LOVE AND FORGIVE.

Have a forgiving Lent

POPE FRANCIS: USUAL THREE POINTS:

He reminds us that receiving baptism is both a privilege and a demand:  the demand to be the Holy Spirit’s instruments of harmony and peace.  We build up the Church not by being proselytizers, he reminds us, but by being witnesses in the way we live.

1. God;s word will sustain our faith and advance our conversion within the community of believers. “Be rich in God’s word, not your own.  He warns preachers to not give interminable homilies that are just full of noise, full of themselves, that the people do not understand. Likewise, he said, parents should be hearers of this word rather than followers of what they learn from television.  Catechists should allow Jesus to speak through them by living God’s word themselves.

2. Christian life is walking the journey TOGETHER. Priests should walk with the people, knowing their names and even the names of their pets.  Priests should walk ahead, in the middle and behind the people so they can encourage those struggling to keep up.  MARRIED COUPLES may argue all they want, BUT THEY SHOULD NEVER END A SINGLE DAY SEPARATED. RESTART YOUR RELATIONSHIP EVERY DAY, he advises.

3. Finally, it is important that we listen to one another, instead of just talking all the time.  Notice those on the fringes, like the children.

LENT, DAY 18, SAT. MARCH 22

REFLECTION:  THOUGHTS FROM POPE FRANCIS  “The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers’ wombs.”  PRAY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THOSE WHO ARE VULNERABLE AND IN NEED.”

PRAYER:   But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.  Psalm 5:11

My community is not always as safe as I would like it to be, Gracious God.  There are times when I am filled with concern about my neighborhood.  Lord, calm my fears and ease my concern.  Take the many crosses that I carry for my community and use them as a way to increase the well-being of my neighbors.  Breathe new life into this place, spreading your protection over my community and using me to promote justice. Amen.  (Trevor Sutton-“Take up your Cross)  I BELIEVE WE COULD SAY THE SAME PRAYER DAILY FOR OUR COUNTRY.

GOD SAYS WHO I AM:  WHO is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession? Micah 7:18

What basically Jesus is saying is that all of what I have said so far is a big lie.  That we are not what we have nor what other people say about us.  We are not the product of the world in which we live.  That is not who we are.  So the gospel is a radical statement that our identity, who we are as people, is not given to us by the outer world.  Who are we? We are children Of God.  We are not what happens here on this line, but we belong to God, the children of God.  God says I am who I am.  You are who you are as a child of God.

 

 

DEAR GOD, SHOW ME WHO I AM.

Is your Lent fruitful???

C.S.LEWIS-FROM THE WORKS OF:

When we exhort people to Faith as a virtue, to the settled intention of continuing to believe certain things, we are not exhorting them to fight against reason.  The intention of continuing to believe is required because, though Reason is divine, human reasoners are not.  When once passion takes part in the game, the human reason, unassisted by GRACE, has about as much chance of retaining its hold on truths already gained as a snowflake has of retaining its consistency in the month of a blast furnace.  The sort of arguments against Christianity which our reason can be persuaded to accept at the moment of yielding to temptation are often preposterous.  Reason may win truths; without Faith she will retain them just so long as SATAN pleases.  There is nothing we cannot be made to believe or disbelieve.  If we wish to be RATIONAL, not now and then, but constantly, WE MUST PRAY FOR THE GIFT OF FAITH, for the power to go on believing not in the teeth of reason, but in the teeth of lust and terror and jealousy and boredom and indifference that which reason, authority or experience, or all three, have once delivered to us for truth.

PRAY FOR GRACE…………….