Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Six – 2 March 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
A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’
“He answered, “I heard you in the garden
but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.”
Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked?
Have you eaten from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat?”
“Do you see, dear friend, how patient God is? For when he said, “Adam, where are you?” and when Adam did not at once confess his sin but said, “I heard your voice, O Lord, and realised that I am naked and hid myself,” God was not angered, nor did He immediately turn away. Rather, He gave him the opportunity of a second reply and said, “Who told you that you are naked? Unless you ate of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat.”
Consider how profound are the words of God’s wisdom. He says, “Why do you say that you are naked but hide your sin? Do you really think that I see only your body but do not see your heart and your thoughts?” Since Adam was deceived he hoped that God would not know his sin. He said something like this to himself, “If I say that I am naked, God in His ignorance will say, ‘Why are you naked?’ Then I shall have to deny and say, ‘I do not know’ and so I shall not be caught by Him and He will give me back the garment that I had at first. If not, as long as He does not cast me out, He will not exile me!”
While he was thinking these thoughts … God, unwilling to multiply his guilt, says, “How did you realise that you are naked? Unless you ate of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat.” It is as though He said, “Do you really think that you can hide from me? Do you imagine that I do not know what you have done? Will you not say, ‘I have sinned?’ Say, O scoundrel, ‘Yes, it is true, Master, I have transgressed your command. I have fallen by listening to the woman’s counsel, I am greatly at fault for doing what she said and disobeying Your word. Have mercy on me!’” But he does not humble himself, he does not bend. The neck of his heart is like a sinew of iron! For had he said this he might have stayed in paradise. By this one word he might have spared himself that whole cycle of evils without number that he endured by his expulsion and in spending so many centuries in hell.”
Saint Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’
REFLECTION – “Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”
“These are thoughts, I need hardly say, especially suited to this season. From the earliest times down to this day, these weeks before Easter have been set apart every year, for the particular remembrance and confession of our sins. From the first age downward, not a year has passed but Christians have been exhorted to reflect how far they have let go their birthright, as a preparation for their claiming the blessing. At Christmas, we are born again with Christ, at Easter we keep the Eucharistic Feast. In Lent, by penance, we join the two great sacraments together. Are you, my brethren, prepared to say—is there any single Christian alive who will dare to profess—that he has not in greater or less degree, sinned against God’s free mercies, as bestowed on him, in Baptism without, or rather against his deserts? Who will say that he has so improved his birthright that the blessing is his fit reward, without either sin to confess, or wrath to deprecate? See, then, the Church offers you this season for the purpose.
“Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”
Now it is that, God being your helper, you are to attempt to throw off from you the heavy burden of past transgression, to reconcile yourselves to Him, who has once already imparted to you, His atoning merits and you have profaned them!”
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
“There is still time for endurance,
time for healing,
time for change.
Have you slipped? Rise up.
Have you sinned? Cease.
Do not stand among sinners but leap aside.
For when you turn away and weep, then you will be saved.”
St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church
Lenten Preparation Novena
O gracious Father,
infuse in our hearts
the spotless light of Your Divine Wisdom
and open the eyes of our mind
that we may understand the teachings of Your Gospel.
Instil in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments,
so that having curbed all carnal desires,
we may lead a spiritual life,
both thinking and doing everything to please You.
Help us to see,
in our ordinary difficulties and duties,
in the trials and temptations of every day,
the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities.
United with Your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intention
(Mention your intention)
For You, our God,
are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies;
and to You we render glory,
together with Your Suffering Son,
and with Your all holy,
now and ever, and forever.