Lenten Preparation Novena – Day One – 25 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, Good Friday, 19 April, Holy Saturday, 20 April
Easter Sunday – 21 April 2019
How do I want to be during Lent this year? More quiet and thoughtful? More open to God’s desires? B etter able to sit with people who need me? More attentive to sacred readings, whether in church or in private? Do I need to be more compassionate toward my own fears and failings? Do I need to become more courageous about using the gifts God has given me?
If we want this year’s Lent to be life changing, we have to start preparing now. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, not the first day to start thinking about your Lenten practices for this year. The devil and his minions have already begun preparing their attack to dislodge your Lenten sacrifice. What are you doing to prepare yourself and gather reinforcements against him?
The Big Three:
Fasting is not just a spiritual
diet. By denying our bodies,
our physical hunger reminds us
of the hunger of our souls for
God, our longing for a deeper
relationship with our Lord.
Almsgiving teaches us to
separate ourselves from material possessions. By freely giving
of our money and possessions,
we learn to trust the Lord more
deeply for our own daily needs.
Finally, an emphasis on prayer
during Lent is a way to stir up
our love and ardour by having a
deepening conversation with the
Almighty. Remember that the
light of God’s love shines more
brightly in the darkness of the
recognition of our own sinfulness
Pre-planning – what will I do?
• Begin each morning with the prayer: “Lord, I offer you this day and all that I think and do and say.”
• Attend Daily Mass as often as possible.
• Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
• Make the Stations of the Cross at home or in a parish celebration.
• Read Scripture for 10 minutes every day.
• Pray the Seven Penitential Psalms (Psalm 6, 31, 50, 101, 129 and 142).
• Spend some time in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
• Abstain from meat for an extra day or two each week.
• Listen to spiritual music or a spiritual speaker.
• Keep a Lenten journal with your spiritual insights, special intentions, people you want to pray for, hurts and disappointments that you want to offer up and progress reports on your Lenten resolutions.
10 tips for making the season more meaningful
Slow Down – Set aside 10 minutes a day for silent prayer or meditation. It will revitalise your body and your spirit.
Read a good book – You could choose the life of a saint, a spiritual how-to, an inspirational book or one of the pope’s new books.
Be kind – Go out of your way to do something nice for someone else every day.
Get involved – Attend a Lenten lecture or spiritual program.
Volunteer at your parish – Whether it’s the parish fundraiser, cleaning the church or helping with the charity project, it will give you a chance to help others.
Reach out – Invite an inactive Catholic to come with you to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday.
Pray – Especially for people you don’t like and for people who don’t like you.
Tune out – Turn off the television and spend quality time talking with family members or friends.
Clean out closets – Donate gently used items to your local Catholic charity or your Parish Charity.
Donate — Google “Catholic Missions.” Then pick one mission and decide how you can help by sending money, clothing or supplies.
“Prayer, mercy and fasting:
these three are one and they give life to each other.
Fasting is the soul of prayer,
mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.
Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.
If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.
So if you pray, fast,
if fast, show mercy,
if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.
When you fast, see the fasting of others.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 406 – c 450)
Father & Doctor of the Church
A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’
“Each of us must come to the evening of life. Each of us must enter on eternity. Each of us must come to that quiet, awful time, when we will appear before the Lord of the vineyard and answer for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad. That, my dear brethren, you will have to undergo. … It will be the dread moment of expectation when your fate for eternity is in the balance and when you are about to be sent forth as the companion of either saints or devils, without possibility of change. There can be no change, there can be no reversal. As that judgement decides it, so it will be for ever and ever. Such is the particular judgement. … when we find ourselves by ourselves, one by one, in His presence and have brought before us most vividly all the thoughts, words and deeds of this past life. Who will be able to bear the sight of himself? And yet we shall be obliged steadily to confront ourselves and to see ourselves.
In this life we shrink from knowing our real selves. We do not like to know how sinful we are. We love those who prophecy smooth things to us and we are angry with those who tell us of our faults. But on that day, not one fault only but all the secret, as well as evident, defects of our character will be clearly brought out. We shall see what we feared to see here and much more. And then, when the full sight of ourselves comes to us, who will not wish that he had known more of himself here, rather than leaving it for the inevitable day to reveal it all to him! …………………….We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.”
Blessed Card. John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Lenten Preparation Novena
Lord, during this Lenten Season,
nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one
with You in love and prayer.
Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.
Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.
Give me new life by Your Sacraments, especially the Mass.
Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;
let me walk more readily in Your ways.
Guide me in Your gentle mercy,
for left to myself I cannot do Your Will.
Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to the new life of grace.
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)
Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.