Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Four – 28 February 2019
“Come Back to Me With all your Heart”
Lent 2019 will begin on
Wednesday, 6 March
The Holy Triduum is
Thursday 18 April – Holy Saturday 20 April
Easter Sunday 21 April 2019
The salt of repentance
Following the Master, every Christian must renounce himself, take up his own cross and participate in the sufferings of Christ (Mt 16:24). Thus transformed into the image of Christ’s death, he is made capable of meditating on the glory of the resurrection. Furthermore, following the Master, he can no longer live for himself but must live for Him who loves him and gave Himself for him. He will also have to live for his brethren, completing “in his flesh that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ…for the benefit of his body, which is the church” (Ga 2:20; Col 1:24).
In addition, since the Church is closely linked to Christ, the penitence of the individual Christian also has an intimate relationship of its own, with the whole ecclesial community. In fact, not only does he receive in the bosom of the Church through baptism the fundamental gift of “metanoia,” namely the transformation and renewal of the whole person but this gift is restored and reinvigorated, in those members of the Body of Christ, who have fallen into sin, through the sacrament of penance. “Those who approach the sacrament of penance receive from the mercy of God forgiveness for offences committed against Him and at the same time become reconciled with the Church on which they have inflicted a wound by sinning and the Church, cooperates in their conversion, with charity, example and prayer” (Vatican II : LG 11). And in the Church, finally, the little acts of penitence imposed each time in the sacrament, become a form of participation, in a special way, in the infinite expiation of Christ.
St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’
Reflection – “We cannot escape punishment, here or hereafter – we must take our choice, whether to suffer and mourn a little now, or much then.”
“And then, alas! the truth flashed upon him, he uttered a great and bitter cry, when it was too late. It would have been well, had he uttered it before he came for the blessing, not after it. He repented when it was too late—it had been well if he had repented in time. So I say of persons who have in any way sinned. It is good for them not to forget that they have sinned. It is good that they should lament and deplore their past sins. Depend upon it, they will wail over them in the next world, if they wail not here. Which is better, to utter a bitter cry now or then?—then, when the blessing of eternal life is refused them by the just Judge at the last day, or now, in order that they may gain it? Let us be wise enough to have our agony in this world, not in the next. If we humble ourselves now, God will pardon us then. We cannot escape punishment, here or hereafter – we must take our choice, whether to suffer and mourn a little now, or much then.”
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Lenten Preparation Novena
may I live this Lent
as an unceasing act of love for You.
Let me grow in understanding
of the riches hidden in Christ.
In my prayer,
grant me a spirit to see what must be done
and the strength to do what is right.
Make me radiant in Your presence
with the strength of my yearning for You.
By my fasting, fortify my resolve
to carry out Your loving commands.
Bless me with an increase in devoutness of life,
so that I may be found steadfast in faith.
And by my almsgiving, renew and purify my heart,
so that I may hold to the
things that eternally endure.
Help me to repent of my sins now
and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)