Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 April – St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 4 April – St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church, Creator of the first encyclopedia – often called “The Last Scholar of the Ancient World” and “The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages.”   His most well known patronage is of computers and the internet (though not officially so_ – his full story with Patronages is here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/saint-of-the-day-4-april-st-isidore-of-seville-father-and-doctor-of-the-church/ but today we will follow his life with Pope Benedict XVI during his Catechetical audiences on the Doctors of the Church.   This was given at St Peter’s on Wednesday, 18 June 2008.saint-isidore-of-sevilla-miguel-zitow wow header

He was a younger brother of St Leander (c 534-c 600) memorial 13 March, Archbishop of Seville and a great friend of St Pope Gregory the Great.   Pointing this out is important, because it enables us, to bear in mind, a cultural and spiritual approach, that is indispensable for understanding Isidore’s personality.   Indeed, he owed much to Leander, an exacting, studious and austere person who created around his younger brother a family context, marked by the ascetic requirements proper to a monk and from the work pace demanded, by a serious dedication to study.   Furthermore, Leander was concerned to have the wherewithal to confront the political and social situation of that time – in those decades in fact, the Visigoths, barbarians and Arians, had invaded the Iberian Peninsula and taken possession of territories that belonged to the Roman Empire.   It was essential to regain them for the Roman world and for Catholicism. Leander and Isidore’s home was furnished with a library richly endowed with classical, pagan and Christian works.   Isidore, who felt simultaneously attracted to both, was, therefore, taught under the responsibility of his elder brother, to develop a very strong discipline, in devoting himself to study with discretion and discernment.st Isidor_von_Sevilla murillo

Thus, a calm and open atmosphere prevailed in the episcopal residence in Seville.   We can deduce this from Isidore’s cultural and spiritual interests, as they emerge from his works themselves, which include an encyclopaedic knowledge of pagan classical culture and a thorough knowledge of Christian culture.   This explains the eclecticism characteristic of Isidore’s literary opus, who glided with the greatest of ease from Martial to Augustine, or from Cicero to Gregory the Great.   The inner strife that the young Isidore had to contend with, having succeeded his brother Leander on the episcopal throne of Seville in 599, was by no means unimportant.   The impression of excessive voluntarism that strikes one, on reading the works of this great author, considered to be the last of the Christian Fathers of antiquity, may, perhaps, actually be due to this constant struggle with himself.   A few years after his death in 636, the Council of Toledo in 653 described him as “an illustrious teacher of our time and the glory of the Catholic Church.”Saint-Isidore---stained-glass.md

Isidore was, without a doubt, a man of accentuated dialectic antitheses.   Moreover, he experienced a permanent inner conflict in his personal life, similar to that which Gregory the Great and St Augustine had experienced earlier, between a desire for solitud, to dedicate himself solely to meditation on the word of God and, the demands of charity to his brethren, for whose salvation, as Bishop, he felt responsible.   He wrote, for example, with regard to Church leaders:  “The man responsible for a Church (vir ecclesiasticus) must on the one hand allow himself to be crucified to the world, with the mortification of his flesh and, on the other, accept the decision of the ecclesiastical order – when it comes from God’s will – to devote himself humbly to government, even if he does not wish to”   (Sententiarum liber III, 33, 1: PL 83, col 705 B).   Just a paragraph later he adds:  “Men of God, (sancti viri), do not in fact desire to dedicate themselves to things of the world and groan when by some mysterious design of God they are charged with certain responsibilities….   They do their utmost to avoid them bu,t accept what they would like to shun and do what they would have preferred to avoid.    Indeed, they enter into the secrecy of the heart and seek there to understand what God’s mysterious will is asking of them.   And when they realise that they must submit to God’s plans, they bend their hearts to the yoke of the divine decision”   (Sententiarum liber III, 33, 3: PL 83, coll. 705-706).st isidore old image

To understand Isidore better, it is first of all, necessary, to recall the complexity of the political situations in his time to which I have already referred – during the years of his boyhood he was obliged to experience the bitterness of exile.   He was, nevertheless, pervaded with apostolic enthusiasm.   He experienced the rapture of contributing to the formation of a people, that was at last, rediscovering its unity, both political and religious, with the providential conversion of Hermenegild, the heir to the Visigoth throne, from Arianism to the Catholic faith.   Yet we must not underestimate the enormous difficulty of coming to grips with such very serious problems as were the relations with heretics and with the Jews.   There was a whole series of problems which appear very concrete to us today too, especially if we consider what is happening in certain region, in which we seem almost to be witnessing the recurrence of situations, very similar to those, that existed on the Iberian Peninsular, in that sixth century.   The wealth of cultural knowledge that Isidore had assimilated, enabled him to constantly compare the Christian newness with the Greco-Roman cultural heritage, however, rather than the precious gift of synthesis, it would seem that he possessed the gift of collatio, that is, of collecting, which he expressed in an extraordinary personal erudition, although it was not always ordered as might have been desired.Saint-Isidore-by-Ambrosius-Benson1530.md

In any case, his nagging worry not to overlook anything, that human experience had produced, in the history of his homeland and of the whole world, is admirable.   Isidore did not want to lose anything that man had acquired, in the epochs of antiquity, regardless of whether they had been pagan, Jewish or Christian.   Hence, it should not come as a surprise if, in pursuing this goal, he did not always manage to filter the knowledge he possessed sufficiently, in the purifying waters of the Christian faith as he would have wished.   The point is, however, that in Isidore’s intentions, the proposals he made, were always in tune with the Catholic faith, which he staunchly upheld.   In the discussion of the various theological problems, he showed, that he perceived their complexity and often astutely suggested solutions, that summarise and express, the complete Christian truth.   This has enabled believers through the ages and to our times, to profit, with gratitude, from his definitions.   A significant example of this is offered by Isidore’s teaching on the relations between active and contemplative life.   He wrote: “Those who seek to attain repose in contemplation must first train in the stadium of active life and then, free from the dross of sin, they will be able to display that pure heart which alone makes the vision of God possible” (Differentiarum Lib. II, 34, 133: PL 83, col 91A).   Nonetheless, the realism of a true pastor, convinced him of the risk the faithful run, of reducing themselves to one dimension.   He therefore added: “The middle way, consisting of both of these forms of life, normally turns out to be more useful in resolving those tensions, which are often aggravated, by the choice of a single way of life and are instead better tempered, by an alternation of the two forms” (op. cit. 134; ibid., col 91B).st isidore glass

Isidore sought in Christ’s example the definitive confirmation of a just orientation of life and said:   “The Saviour Jesus offers us the example of active life, when during the day He devoted Himself to working signs and miracles in the town but, He showed the contemplative life, when He withdrew to the mountain and spent the night in prayer” (op. cit. 134: ibid.).   In the light of this example of the divine Teacher, Isidore can conclude with this precise moral teaching:  “Therefore let the servant of God, imitating Christ, dedicate himself to contemplation without denying himself active life. Behaving otherwise, would not be right.   Indeed, just as we must love God in contemplation, so we must love our neighbour with action.   It is therefore impossible to live without the presence of both the one and the other form of life, nor can we live without experiencing both the one and the other” (op. cit., 135; ibid. col 91C).   I consider that this is the synthesis of a life that seeks contemplation of God, dialogue with God in prayer and in the reading of Sacred Scripture, as well as action at the service of the human community and of our neighbour.   This synthesis, is the lesson that the great Bishop of Seville has bequeathed to us, Christians of today, called to witness to Christ at the beginning of a new millennium.   Amen … Vatican.va

Pedro Duque Cornejo and Manuel Guerrero de Alca'ntara, St. Isido
St Isidore at Seville Cathedral
576px-San_Isidoro,_Portada_del_Bautismo_de_la_Catedral_de_Sevilla
St Isidore on the Facade of Seville Cathedral

Prayer for the Intercession of St Isidore
before accessing the Internet

Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image
and bade us to seek after all that is good,
true and beautiful,
especially in the divine person
of Thy only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech Thee that,
through the intercession of Saint Isidore,
Bishop and Doctor,
during our journeys through the internet,
we will direct our hands and eyes
only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience,
all those souls whom we encounter.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen

Orátio ante colligatiónem in interrete:
*Omnípotens aetérne Deus,
qui secúndum imáginem Tuam nos plasmásti
et omnia bona, vera, et pulchra,
praesértim in divína persóna Unigéniti Fílii Tui
Dómini nostri Iesu Chrísti, quaérere iussísti,
praesta, quaésumus,
ut, per intercessiónem Sancti Isidóri, Epíscopi et Doctóris,
in peregrinatiónibus per interrete,
et manus oculísque ad quae Tibi sunt plácita intendámus
et omnes quos convenímus cum caritáte ac patiéntia accipiámus.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Amen

prayer for the intercession of st isidore before internet - 4 april 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 March – “Go and do not sin again.”

One Minute Reflection – 30 March – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62, Psalm 23, John 8:1-11 and the Memorial of St Antoine Daveluy MEP (1818-1866) Martyr

“Neither do I condemn you;   go and do not sin again.” … John 8:11

REFLECTION – “The scene is full with drama – the life of that person and also His own life depend on Jesus.   Indeed, the hypocritical accusers pretend to entrust the judgement to Him whereas it is actually He, Himself, whom they wish to accuse and judge.   Jesus, on the other hand, is “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1: 14) – He can read every human heart, He wants to condemn the sin but save the sinner and unmask hypocrisy.   St John the Evangelist highlights one detail – while His accusers are insistently interrogating Him, Jesus bends down and starts writing with His finger on the ground.   St Augustine notes that this gesture portrays Christ as the divine legislator, in fact, God wrote the law with His finger on tablets of stone (cf. Commentary on John’s Gospel, 33,5).   Thus Jesus is the Legislator, He is Justice in person.   And what is His sentence? “Let him who is without sin among you, be the first to throw a stone at her.”   These words are full of the disarming power of truth that pulls down the wall of hypocrisy and opens consciences to a greater justice, that of love, in which consists the fulfilment of every precept (cf. Rom 13: 8-10). This is the justice that also saved Saul of Tarsus, transforming him into St Paul (cf. Phil 3: 8-14).
When His accusers “went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest,” Jesus, absolving the woman of her sin, ushers her into a new life oriented to good.   “Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.” … Pope Benedict XVI – 21 March 2010john 8 11 neither do i condemn you - jesus bends down and start writing pope benedict 30 march 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, Your abounding grace has enriched us with every blessing. Transform us from our sinful condition to newness of life and prepare us for the glory of Your kingdom.   Open our eyes to see by the light of Your Son, who always walks with us. Let us lift our eyes to Him, for even now He is preparing for us a place, in His Father’s house.   Listen, we pray, to the prayers of all the angels and saints, St Antoine Daveluy a Martyr for Christ, who petition on our behalf and may our Mother Mary, keep ever close to our path.   Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen. st antoine daveluy martyr for christ pray for us 30 march 2020

Posted in I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – Jesus worked a new creation.

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – The Fourth “Laetare” Sunday of Lent, Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13, Psalm 23:1-6, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

“He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay” … John 9:6

john 9 6 he spat on the ground and made clay - 22 march 2020

REFLECTION – “Let us reflect briefly on the account of the man born blind (Jn 9: 1-41). According to the common mentality of the time, the disciples take it for granted that his blindness was the result of a sin committed by him or his parents.   Jesus, however, rejects this prejudice and says – “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents but that the works of God might be made manifest in him” (Jn 9: 3).
… And He immediately takes action – mixing a little earth with saliva he made mud and spread it on the eyes of the blind man.   This act alludes to the creation of man, which the Bible recounts using the symbol of dust from the ground, fashioned and enlivened by God’s breath (Gn 2: 7).   In fact, “Adam” means “ground” and the human body was in effect formed of particles of soil.   By healing the blind man, Jesus worked a new creation.
But this healing sparked heated debate because Jesus did it on the Sabbath, thereby, in the Pharisees’ opinion, violating the feast-day precept.   Thus, at the end of the account, Jesus and the blind man are both cast out, the former because he broke the law and the latter because, despite being healed, he remained marked as a sinner from birth.
Jesus reveals to the blind man whom He had healed that He had come into the world for judgement, to separate the blind who can be healed, from those who do not allow themselves to be healed because they consider themselves healthy.   Indeed, the temptation to build himself an ideological security system is strong in man – even religion can become an element of this system, as can atheism or secularism but in letting this happen, one is blinded by one’s own selfishness.” … Pope Benedict XVI – 2 March 2008

and he immediately takes action - pope benedict man born blind - 22 march 2020

PRAYER – Holy Father, we are sinners who stand in Your presence and serve You.   Grant us Your mercy and forgiveness, for we are all Your prodigal children.   Your Word, our Christ, came to redeem us, to relieve our blindness and open our eyes, to open our ears, that we might hear.   May Mary Most Holy, who, by conceiving Christ in the flesh, gave the world the true light, help us to conquer the ‘great transgression’ of our pride.   May we honour, love and serve You through His example and by following in His steps. Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

MARY immaculate pray for us 22 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 March – ‘Seeing with the eyes of Christ …’

One Minute Reflection – 20 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Hosea 14:1-9 (2-10), Psalm 81:6-11, 14, 17, Mark 12:28-34 and the Memorial of St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus (1842-1912)

“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’   There is no other commandment greater than these.” …Mark 12:30-32mark 12 30-32 you shall love the lord your god - 20 march 2020

REFLECTION – “The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will, increases in a communion of thought and sentiment and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide – God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without, by the commandments but it is now, my own will, based on the realisation that God is, in fact, more deeply present to me, than I am to myself.   Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 [72]:23-28).

Love of neighbour is thus shown to be possible, in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus.   It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know.   This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings.   Then, I learn, to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings but from the perspective of Jesus Christ.   His friend is my friend… Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more, than their outward necessities, I can give them the look of love which they crave.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Deus caritas est ”, # 17 – 18seeing-with-the-eyes-of-christ-pope-beneidct-29-march-2019 and 20 march 2020

PRAYER – Holy and eternal Father, we give praise to You for the radiant light You sent into the world, Your divine Son, Your Word made flesh.   For He guides our steps in a path of light and teaches us how to live.   May we love and glorify You and love our neighbour as ourselves.   Grant, we pray, that by the help of Your angels and saints and Mary, our Immaculate Mother, we may proceed to live Your Word of Truth.   St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus please pray for us today.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.immaculate-mary-poray-for-us 20 march 2020 and 29 march 2019st maria josefa of the heart of jesus pray for us 20 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 March – 70 x 7

One Minute Reflection – 18 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35 and the Memorial of Saint Jan Sarkander (1576-1620) Priest and Martyr of the Seal of Confession

“I forgave you all that debt because you besought me and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”… Matthew 18:32-33

REFLECTION – “We must wash one another’s feet in the mutual daily service of love.   But we must also wash one another’s feet, in the sense, that we must forgive one another ever anew.   The debt for which the Lord has pardoned us is always infinitely greater than all the debts that others can owe us….not to allow resentment toward others to become a poison in the depths of the soul.   It urges us to purify our memory constantly, forgiving one another whole-heartedly, washing one another’s feet, to be able to go to God’s banquet together.”…Pope Benedict XVI (Holy Thursday homily 20 March 2008)

matthew-18-32-33-i-forgave-you-all-the-debt-the-debt-for-which-the-lord-has-pardoned-us-pope-benedict-26-march-2019 and 17 march 2020

PRAYER – Almighty God, we thank You for Your endless mercy.   We are sinners but trust in Your merciful forgiveness when we turn to You in sorrow.   Open our hearts, make them forgiving to our brother, teach us Your mercy.  May Mary, Mother of Sorrow, pray for us. Grant that the prayers of St Jan Sarkander may continue to defend us, as he did in the world.   We make our prayer through our forgiving Saviour, who even to those who killed Him, turned to them in love and mercy and asked You for their forgiveness.   In union with the Holy Spirit, one God, for all eternity, amen.our-lady-mother-of-sorrows-pray-for-us-26-march-2019 and 17 March 2020

st jan sarkander pray for us 17 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 15 March – ‘He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.’

Lenten Reflection – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, John 4:5-42

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” … John 4:13-14

Daily Meditation:
Jesus spoke of a “living water” able to quench her thirst and become in her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” in addition, He demonstrated that He knew her personal life, He revealed that the hour has come to adore the one true God in spirit and truth and lastly, He entrusted her with something extremely rare – that He is the Messiah.

All this began from the real and notable experience of thirst.   The theme of thirst runs throughout John’s Gospel, from the meeting with the Samaritan woman to the great prophecy during the feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7: 37-38), even to the Cross, when Jesus, before He dies, said to fulfil the Scriptures:  “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28).   Christ’s thirst is an entranceway to the mystery of God, who became thirsty to satisfy our thirst, just as He became poor to make us rich (cf. II Cor 8: 9).   Yes, God thirsts for our faith and our love.   As a good and merciful father, He wants our total, possible good and this good is He
Himself.
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, represents the existential dissatisfaction of one who does not find what he seeks.   She had “five husbands” and now she lives with another man, her going to and from the well to draw water expresses a repetitive and resigned life.   However, everything changes for her that day, thanks to the conversation with the Lord Jesus, who upsets her to the point that she leaves her pitcher of water and runs to tell the villagers:  “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.   Can this be the Christ?” (Jn 4: 29).
Dear brothers and sisters, like the Samaritan woman, let us also open our hearts to listen trustingly to God’s Word in order to encounter Jesus who reveals His love to us and tells us: “I who speak to you am he” (Jn 4: 26), the Messiah, your Saviour.   May Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of the Word made flesh, obtain this gift for us.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Third Sunday of Lent, 24 February
2008the third sunday of lent 15 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace,
and pray to Him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Christ, our life, through baptism we were buried with You and rose to life with You,
– may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, You have brought blessings to all mankind,
– bring us to share Your concern for the good of all.
May we work together to build up the earthly city,
– with our eyes fixed on the city that lasts forever.
Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
– so that we may grow in holiness through Your constant care.

Closing Prayer:
Loving Father,
So many times I turn away from You
and always You welcome me back.
Your mercy and love gives me confidence
Thank You for the invitation to share, fast and pray
so that You can form a new heart within me.
Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses
leads me to ask for mercy
and await with great hope the Easter joy You share with us.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“Come, then, behold our Lord, He has come into the world from His Father’s side, He has emptied Himself so as to complete His course in humility (Phil 2:7) (…).   He saw the Gentiles like a parched flock whose spring of life was closed by sin as by a stone.   He saw the Church like Rachel and so He ran towards her and removed the heavy sin as though it were a rock.   He has opened up the baptistery for His bride to bathe in, He has drawn water and refreshed the nations of earth as if they were His sheep.  With His almighty power, He has removed the heavy burden of sin, He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.”

Saint Jacob of Sarug (c 449-521)
Bishop and Monk

with his almight power he has removed the heavy burden of sin - st jacob of sarug 15 march 2020

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 10 March – God’s Sign

Lenten Reflection – 10 March – Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20, Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Matthew 23:1-12

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:
The eyes of the Lord look on the lowly to make them glad.   But the face of the Lord turns away from the proud to humble them.   The lowly always receive pity from God…   Make yourself small before everyone and you will be raised up higher than this world’s princes.   Make all creatures go before you, embrace them, humble yourself before them, and you will be honoured more than those who make an offering of gold.   Descend lower than your own self and you will see God’s glory within you.
For where humility sprouts, God’s glory spreads…  If you have humility in your heart, God will reveal His glory to you in it… St Isaac the Syrian of Nineveh (c 613-c 700) Bishop of Nineveh, Monk at Mosul

But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes,
or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline
and you cast my words behind you.
Psalm 50:16-17tuesday of the second week of lent 10 march 2020

Intercessions:
God the Father has given us His only Son, the Word made man,
to be our food and our life. Let us thank him and pray:
May the word of Christ dwell among us in all its richness.

Help us in this Lenten season to listen more frequently to Your word,
-that we may celebrate the solemnity of Easter with greater love for Christ, our paschal teacher,
-that we may encourage those in doubt and error to follow what is true and good.
Enable us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Anointed One,
-that our lives may reveal Him more effectively.
Lift us out of the mire of pride and honour
-that we may seek only Christ’s Cross as our mantle of humility.
Purify and renew Your Church in this time of salvation,
-that it may give an even greater witness to You.

Closing Prayer:
God in heaven and in my life,
guide me and protect me.
I so often believe I can save myself
and I always end in failure.
Lead me with Your love away from pride
and guide me on the right path.
May Your Spirit inspire the Church
and make us an instrument of your love and guidance.
Thank You for Your care for me,
for Your example which teaches me the way of humility
and self-abnegation.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

God’s Sign

“God’s sign is His humility.
God’s sign is that He makes himself small.
He becomes a child.
He lets us touch him and He asks for our love.
How we would prefer a different sign,
an imposing, irresistible sign of God’s power and greatness!
But His sign summons us to faith and love
and thus it gives us hope – this is what God is like.
He has power, He is Goodness itself.
He invites us to become like Him.
Yes indeed, we become like God,
if we allow ourselves
to be shaped by this sign,
if we ourselves learn humility
and hence true greatness;
if we renounce violence
and use only the weapons
of truth and love.”

Pope Benedict XVI (2009)

god's sign used in lent pope benedict xvi 10 march 2020