Lenten Preparation Novena – Day One – 25 February 2019 “Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

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 Churchprayermercyandfasting-16-feb-2018-first-friday-of-lent-st-peter-chrysologus.jpg

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)we can believe what we choose - bl j h newman - 14 march 2018

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.

Amenlenten prep novena day one 25 feb 2019 .jpg


Thought for the Day -30 January – Lent is Coming!

Thought for the Day -30 January – Lent is Coming!

Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day!

On a day typically reserved for chocolates, candies and delicious meals shared with a loved one, the Church asks you to fast, pray and abstain from meat!   Take it as an opportunity to pray with each other and grow deeper in a true and abiding love of God.

Lent lasts 40 days and ends on April 1 (no fools!)

In imitation of Jesus fasting in the desert, the Church instituted a special season of fasting that lasts 40 days.   However, the six Sundays in Lent are not considered part of the official “Lenten fast” (every Sunday is a special remembrance of the Resurrection of Christ).   For this reason, Easter is “technically” 46 days after Ash Wednesday.   This year Easter lands on April 1, but is no joke!

The three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer and almsgiving, which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others.   Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins:  effort at reconciliation with one’s neighbour, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one’s neighbour, the intercession of the saints and the practice of charity ‘which covers a multitude of sins.’”

Lent is a time to practice these essential spiritual practices and clean out our interior house.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics … For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59.   When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal.   The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.

All Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence from meat (unless superseded by a solemnity)

Fridays have always been special days of prayer and penitence in the Church.   Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him.  This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church.

Go Forth – may this be our best Lent ever!lent - preparing our hearts - 30 jan 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 1 March 2017- Ash Wednesday

“And so we begin a new spiritual journey today – a journey of preparation to rise with the Risen Lord on the day of Easter.   As part of our preparation, the Gospel sets before us reflections on three cardinal works necessary for our spiritual life: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.   These three works deal with three important areas of our life.   Prayer is our relationship with God;  fasting aims at our personal growth and almsgiving reveals our relationship with our neighbour and our responsibilities toward them.

During the Eucharistic celebration today we will be marked with ashes.   By imposing ashes on our foreheads, we are reminded to repent of our sins, to believe in the Gospel and to aim at what is permanent – life with the Risen Lord.” Fr Devasia Joseph SSP

“What the Christian should be doing at all times
should be done now (during Lent) with greater care and devotion,
so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles
may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food
but above all by the renunciation of sin.” – St Pope Leo the Great


Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Announcing a Novena in preparation for LENT – ASH WEDNESDAY is on 1 MARCH 2017

Each year as Lent approaches, we decide that “this one” will be our best ever but it is so easy to lose momentum halfway through the 40 days.  This year let us prepare by the most perfect method – by praying for help!   Let us ask that we may:

  • deepen our understanding of Jesus’ passion?
  • walk with Jesus through his passion and resurrection?
  • work on overcoming a temptation that keeps us from fully entering into life with Christ?
  • foster a new spiritual practice to ignite or inflame our relationship with Jesus?

In these last few days before Lent begins, let us to begin our preparatory prayer. We can turn to Jesus and ask, “What is the grace You desire to deepen within me over these next 40 days?”