Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Eight – 4 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
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
“How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
“When Jesus says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” (Mt 5:3), He shows that the kingdom of heaven will be assigned to those who are recommended by the humility of their spirits rather than by the smallness of their means. Yet, it cannot be doubted, that this possession of humility, is more easily acquired by the poor than the rich, for the poverty of the former, inclines them more easily to generosity, while the others’ wealth inclines them rather to pride. Notwithstanding, even in many of the rich is found, a spirit which uses its abundance, not for the increasing of its superiority but on works of kindness and counts its greatest gain, to be what it expends, in relieving the hardship of others.
So it is given to every kind and condition of people, to share in this virtue, for one can be equal as regards one’s dispositions, without being so in respect of fortune. It does not matter how different they are in earthly means, there is no distance between those who are equal in spiritual possessions.
Blessed, therefore, is the poverty, that does not desire to increase its wealth here below but is eager to amass heavenly possessions.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father & Doctor of the Church
A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’
REFLECTION – “Easy circumstances are generally thought a special happiness; it is thought a great point to get rid of annoyance or discomfort of mind and body, it is thought allowable and suitable, to make use of all means available, for making life pleasant.”
“Such advice is especially suitable to an age like this, when there is an effort on all hands to multiply comforts and to get rid of the daily inconveniences and distresses of life.
Alas! my brethren, how do you know, if you avail yourselves of the luxuries of this world without restraint but that you are only postponing and increasing by postponing, an inevitable chastisement?
How do you know, but that, if you will not satisfy the debt of daily sin now, it will hereafter come upon you with interest? See whether this is not a thought, which would spoil that enjoyment, which even religious persons are apt to take in this world’s goods, if they would but admit it.
It is said that we ought to enjoy this life as the gift of God.
Easy circumstances are generally thought a special happiness, it is thought a great point, to get rid of annoyance, or discomfort, of mind and body, it is thought allowable and suitable, to make use of all means available, for making life pleasant. We desire and confess we desire, to make time pass agreeably and to live in the sunshine. All things harsh and austere are carefully put aside. We shrink from the rude lap of earth and the embrace of the elements and we build ourselves houses in which the flesh may enjoy its lust and the eye its pride.
We aim at having all things at our will.
Cold and hunger and hard lodging and ill usage and humble offices and mean appearance, are all considered serious evils.
And thus year follows year, tomorrow as today, till we think that this, our artificial life, is our natural state and must and ever will be.”
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
“Only by accepting, with humble gratitude,
the love of the Lord,
do we free ourselves, from the seduction of idols
and the blindness of our illusions.
Money, pleasure, success dazzle
but then disappoint,
they promise life but procure death.
The Lord asks us to detach ourselves
from these false riches in order,
to enter into true life,
the full, authentic, luminous life.”
Pope Francis – Angelus, 11 October 2015
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.
Any 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.
Teach me and help me Lord, my God,
to relinquish the comforts of this world,
to leave my house and follow only the
Way of the Cross,
to sell all, give to the poor
and follow Your Son.
And thus, united with Him,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)