Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Three – 27 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
WE ARE WRETCHED CREATURES
We cannot dwell upon the conduct of the Jews, my dear people, without being struck with amazement. These very people had waited for God for four thousand years, they had prayed much because of the great desire they had to receive Him and yet when He came, He could not find a single person to give Him the poorest lodging. The all-powerful God was obliged to make His dwelling with the animals.
And yet, my dear people, I find in the conduct of the Jews, criminal as it was, not a subject for explanations but a theme for the condemnation of the conduct of the majority of Christians.
We can see that the Jews had formed an idea of their Redeemer which did not conform with the state of austerity in which He appeared. It seemed as if they could not persuade themselves that this could indeed be He who was to be their Saviour; St Paul tells us very clearly that if the Jews had recognised Him as God, they would never have put Him to death. There is, then, some small excuse for the Jews. But what excuse can we make, my dear brethren, for the coldness and the contempt which we show towards Jesus Christ?
Oh, yes, we do indeed truly believe that Jesus Christ came upon earth, that He provided the most convincing proofs of His divinity. Hence the reason for our hope. We rejoice and we have good reason to recognise Jesus Christ as our God, our Saviour and our Model. Here is the foundation of our faith.
But, tell me, with all this, what homage do we really pay Him? Do we do more for Him than if we did not believe all this? Tell me, dear brethren, does our conduct correspond at all to our beliefs? We are wretched creatures.
We are even more blameworthy than the Jews!
St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’
“He thought he was as sure of the blessing as if he had not sold the birthright.”
And then, when all is done and over and their souls sold to Satan, they never seem to understand that they have parted with their birthright. They think that they stand just where they did, before they followed the world, the flesh and the devil they take for granted that when they choose to become more decent, or more religious, they have all their privileges just as before. Like Samson, they propose to go out as at other times before and shake themselves. And like Esau, instead of repenting for the loss of the birthright, they come, as a matter of course, for the blessing. Esau went out to hunt for venison gaily and promptly brought it to his father. His spirits were high, his voice was cheerful. It did not strike him that God was angry with him for what had past years ago. He thought he was as sure of the blessing, as if he had not sold the birthright.
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Lenten Preparation Novena
Today Lord I choose life,
I choose Your love
and the challenge to live it
and share it,
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness,
I choose faith, accepting You as Lord and God,
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens,
day by day handing them over to You,
I choose to take hold of Your strength and power
ever more deeply in my life.
I choose repentance and reparation and suffering,
for all my sins
and those of all the world.
Forgive me my Lord!
May this truly be for me,
a time of new life, of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter
with a heart open to dying with You
and rising to Your new life, day by day.
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)