Day Five of our Lenten Journey – 21 February – The First Sunday of Lent – ‘.Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.’

Day Five of our Lenten Journey – 21 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“The kingdom of God is within you,” says the Lord (Luke 17:21).

Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest.
Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.
Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within.
His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great and His intimacy wonderful indeed.
Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you.
He Himself says: “If anyone love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and will make Our abode with him”. (John 14:23).
Give place, then, to Christ but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you.
He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.
[…] Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?
Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away and you together with them.
Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.
If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds.
If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.
(Book 2, Ch 1)


Day Two of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – In the cross alone, is the hope of life

Day Two of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Thursday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Luke 9:22-25

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” – Luke 9:23

To many the word seems harsh; “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus”… (Mt 16:24) Why do you fear then to take up the cross, the way that leads to the kingdom? In the cross you are saved, revived, protected. In the cross you are showered with sweetness from on high, your mind is strengthened, your spirit rejoiced. In the cross is virtue’s sum and perfect holiness. In the cross alone, is the hope of life eternal, the soul’s salvation. So take up your cross and follow Jesus and you will enter eternal life… For if you die with Him, you shall also likewise live with Him. If you are His companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.

Everything is founded on the cross… There is no other way to life, nor to true inner peace… Walk where you will, seek what you will, you will find neither a loftier way above, nor a safer way below but only the way of the Holy Cross.

Plan as you will, arrange as you see fit; all you will ever find is suffering, you cannot help but bear and so you will always find the cross. You will either have bodily pain or mental and spiritual affliction. Now God will leave you, again your fellow will provoke you and what is more, you will often weigh heavy on yourself. There is neither remedy to free you, nor comfort to ease you… For God will have you learn to endure affliction with total submission to Himself and become more humble… You must endure with patience everywhere, if you would be at peace within and earn the lasting crown.
(Book II, Ch 12:1,2,3-4)


Lenten Reflection – 18 March – What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.

Lenten Reflection – 18 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35

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

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33tuesday-of-the-third-week-26-march-2019 and 18 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
Make us one in love and prayer.

“What is human mercy like?   It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor.   What is divine mercy like?   It forgives sinners…
In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)…  What sort of people are we?   When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give?   When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself:  “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42).   Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven…
What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.
I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church?   What indeed if not mercy?   Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven.   A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life…   And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Sermon 25matthew-18-35-should-you-not-have-pitty-what-sort-of-people-are-we-st-caesarius-of-arles-26-march-2019 and 27 aug 2019 mem of st caesarius

Blessed be God, the giver of salvation,
who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in Himself,
when all would be made new.
With great confidence let us ask him:
Lord, renew us in Your Spirit.

Lord, You promised a new heaven and a new earth;  renew us daily through Your Spirit,
– that we may enjoy Your presence for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Help us to work with You to make this world alive with Your Spirit,
– and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all negligence and sloth,
– and give us joy in Your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
– and from slavery to the senses, which blinds us to goodness.

Closing Prayer:
O Lord and Master of My Life
Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (306-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity,
lust for power and idle talk.
But give to me, Thy servant,
a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love.
O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own faults
and not to condemn my brother.
For blessed art Thou to the ages of ages.
O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
O God, cleanse me, a sinner.
O God, my Creator, save me
and for my many sins forgive me!o lord and master of my life - st ephrem 17 march 2020


Lenten Reflection – 14 March – ‘…Whoever sticks by God, possesses everything in common with God!

Lenten Reflection – 14 March – Saturday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18- 20, Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

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

“Who is a God like you, who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but instead delights in mercy …” …Micah 7:18luke-15-31-32-sat-of-the-second-week-lent-23-march-2019and 14 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
“For what was it Jesus’ detractors said?   “No man can forgive sins but God alone.” Inasmuch then, as they themselves laid down this definition, they themselves introduced the rule, they themselves declared the law.   He then proceeded to entangle them by means of their own words. “You have confessed,” he says in effect, “that forgiveness of sins is an attribute of God alone;  my equality therefore is unquestionable.”   And it is not these men only who declare this but also the prophet Micah, who said, “Who is a God like you?” and then indicating his special attribute he adds, “pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression.” ..St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor

Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Saviour and ask him with confidence:
Lord, help us with Your grace.

May we keep our bodies pure,
– as temples of the Holy Spirit.
May we offer ourselves this day to the service of others,
– and do Your will in all things throughout the day.
Teach us to seek the bread of everlasting life,
– the bread that is Your gift.
May Your Mother, the refuge of sinners, pray for us,
– and gain for us Your loving forgiveness.

Closing Prayer:
God of infinite love,
You shower me with limitless gifts in my life.
In my every thought and action today
guide me to the bright and loving light of Your kingdom.
Help me to be aware of
the many ways You allow me
to share in Your life so intimately today.
Thank You for the gifts You have placed in my life.
Let me be grateful every moment of this day.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

“For us, a portion of God’s inheritance, is our existence, our freedom, our intellect, our accountability – all of these, are the most sublime goods imaginable, goods that only God could give us.   That we, waste it all and end up in distress and that the distress brings us to our senses, is not really as significant, as the father’s vigil, compassion, extravagant greeting, refurbishing of the prodigal and the feast announced in his honour.
Not even for the refractory and envious brother, does the father have a harsh word – he is not scolding him when he speaks to him, he merely speaks the full truth- whoever sticks by God, possesses everything in common with God!”

Servant of God Cardinal Hans Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)

luke-15-20-but-while-he-was-still-at-a-distance-for-us-hans-urs-von-bathasar-31-march-2019 and 14 march 2020

“You are always with me and all that is mine, is yours”

The Elder Brother’s Prayer

Teach me, my Lord,
to be sweet and gentle in all the events of life,
in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.
Let me put myself aside,
to think of the happiness of others,
to hide my little pains and heartaches,
so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.
Teach me to profit by the suffering
that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may make me
patient, not irritable.
That it may make me broad in my forgiveness,
not narrow, haughty and overbearing.
May no one be less good
for having come within my influence.
No one less pure, less true, less kind,
less noble for having been a fellow traveller
in our journey toward Eternal Life.
As I go my rounds from one distraction to another,
let me whisper from time to time,
a word of love to Thee.
May my life be lived in the supernatural,
full of power for good,
and strong in its purpose of sanctity.
Amenprodigal-the-elder-brothers-prayer-beautiful-fantastic-8-october-2019-martha-mary-luke-10-42 prodigal son 14 mach 2020


Lenten Reflection – 24 March – “…A full and perfect patience”

Lenten Reflection – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C

Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15; Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9 (Different Readings apply for the Scrutinies Mass)

Daily Meditation:
Form a new heart within.

“And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure, And if it bears fruit next year, well and good and if not, you can cut it down.”...Luke 13:8-9The third sunday - year C 24 march 2019.jpg

St Cyprian of Carthage – (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church

The good of patience, 6, 7-8

“This, beloved brethren, Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, did not teach by words only but he also fulfilled by His deeds… In the very hour of His passion and cross… what violent abuses He listened to with patience and what shameful insults He endured!   He was even covered with the spittle of His revilers when but a short time before, He had cured the eyes of the blind man with His own spittle(Jn 9:6)… He who now crowns the martyrs with eternal garlands was Himself crowned with thorns, He who now gives true palms to the victors was beaten in the face with hostile palms; he who clothes all others with the garment of immortality was stripped of His earthly garments, He who has given us the food of heaven was fed with gall, He who has offered us the cup of salvation was given vinegar to drink.   He the innocent, the just man, nay rather, Innocence itself and Justice itself, is counted among criminals and Truth is concealed by false testimonies.  He who is to judge is judged and the Word of God, silent, is led to the cross.   And although the stars are confounded at the crucifixion of the Lord, the elements are disturbed and the earth trembles… yet He does not speak, nor is He moved, nor does He proclaim His majesty, even during the suffering itself.   He endures all things even to the end with constant perseverance so that in Christ, a full and perfect patience may find its realisation.

And even after such sufferings He still receives His murderers if they are converted and come to Him and, with a patience instrumental in saving man, this kind Master closes His Church to no-one.   He not only receives and pardons those adversaries, those blasphemers, those persistent enemies of His name, provided they do penance for their offence and acknowledge the crime committed but He admits them to the reward of the kingdom of heaven.   What can be called more patient, what more kind? Even he who shed the blood of Christ is given life by the blood of Christ.   Such is the wonderful patience of Christ.   And unless it were so wonderful, the Church would not have had Paul, the great Apostle.”

he not only receives and pardons - st cyprian - 24 march 2019 3rdsunlentyearc.jpg

This Sunday brings us closer to the font of renewing our baptismal commitment.
It is also the first of three Scrutinies for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

We are deeply aware that there is a struggle going on in us.
We turn to God, that we might not become discouraged.
We rely on God’s compassion and love for us.
We acknowledge who we are
– sinners who experience the consequences of our selfishness –
but we know we are loved and we desire to be filled with hope.

We go into this week renewed in our desire to continue our
prayer, fasting and generosity toward others.

Bless the Lord, O my soul
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…
Psalm 103:1-4

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.

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT 2019, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – The First Sunday of Lent – 10 March

Lenten Reflection – The First Sunday of Lent – 10 March
‘Come back to Me with All your Heart’

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil....Luke 4:1-2the first sunday of lent - luke 4 13 and when the devil had ended - 10 march 2019.jpg

“During the 40 days of Lent, as Christians we are invited to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and face the spiritual battle with the Evil One with the strength of the Word of God.   Not with our words, they are worthless.   The Word of God – this has the strength to defeat Satan.
For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the Bible, read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it.   The Bible contains the Word of God, which is always timely and effective. Someone has asked, what would happen were we to treat the Bible as we treat our mobile phone? were we to read God’s messages contained in the Bible as we read telephone messages, what would happen?   Clearly the comparison is paradoxical but it calls for reflection.

Indeed, if we had God’s Word always in our heart, no temptation could separate us from God and no obstacle could divert us from the path of good.”

Pope Francis – Angelus, First Sunday of Lent, 5 March 2017indeed if we had god's word - pope francis - 10 march 2019 1st sun of lent

Daily Meditation:
Bring us back to you.
This week we pray for a renewal of our lives.
We are beginning to be more attentive and alert.
We are trying new patterns.
The difficulties we encounter keep us humble.

Our desire is clear.
We want the “self-sacrificing love of Christ” –
which brings us mercy and healing – to be “reproduced in our lives.”
In our journey, we seek to savour the meaning of Jesus’ selfless love,
that we might reflect that love to others.
At the end of our journey, we will renew our baptismal promises.
Dying with Jesus in baptism, we have a new life in Him.
Today, we desire nothing less than God’s re-creating us –
breathing new life into us.

Closing Prayer:
Lord God,
You who breathed the spirit of life within me.
Draw out of me the light and life You created.
Help me to find my way back to You.
Help me to use my life to reflect Your glory
and to serve others
as Your son Jesus did.
Help me to grow in love and understanding
of Your Word.
May the Holy Scriptures be my fortress and guide.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST

Lenten Thoughts – 9 March – Do not leave Him alone

Lenten Thoughts – 9 March – Saturday after Ash Wednesday

“The enormity of the fact that Christ has, on our behalf, already taken the most extreme punishment upon Himself, should move us, not to leave Him isolated.
It should also inspire us to rejoice that another has taken our place in representing sin before God – for not to rejoice at that, would be a further enormity.
Instead of leaving Him alone, we should be moved to enter into His suffering for us, doing together with Him, what little we can do, to atone for the world’s sin!”

Hans Urs von Balthasar

“Light of the World”


instead-of-leaving-him-alone-hans-urs-sat after ash-wed 9 march 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, The LAST THINGS

Lenten Reflection – 14 March 2018 – – Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Lenten Reflection – 14 March 2018 – Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Isaiah 49:8-15, Psalms 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18, John 5:17-30

Isaiah 49:13 – “For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.”

John 5:28-29 – “…. for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement.”

As we approach the end of the Lenten journey, the tone becomes darker and we can feel the crises approaching.
Today’s first reading is a lovely one, Israel’s God promising that all is going to be well “I shall answer you” and “they shall find food on all the bare places.”   And there is a beautiful image of God as mother, utterly incapable of forgetting Israel.   Notice however, that Israel is feeling forgotten, they are hungry and thirsty and in desolate places and in darkness.

These dark tones return in today’s gospel, which continues from yesterday.   Jesus here lays His cards on the table and states plainly and simply, His intimate relationship with the One whom He calls Father and precisely because of who He is – He incurs now the homicidal wrath of His opponents.

We need to be clear this Lent, NOW and forever, about who we think Jesus is – and KNOW that what we believe, will bring the same response – hostility, ire, persecution even hatred!   For it is literally – it is very important to be aware of this – a matter of life and death!

But, “the one who hears my word and believes the One who sent me, has eternal life”. There is Resurrection here but there is also first death.

We must choose our sides NOW!   Now is the time!…(Fr Nicholas King SJ – Reflections for Lent)

Am I ready?
Have I chosen my side?
Am I prepared?

“There was once a good Trappist Father, who was trembling all over at perceiving the approach of death.   Someone said to him, “Father, of what then are you afraid?”   “Of the judgement of God,” he said. “Ah! if you dread the judgement–you who have done so much penance, you who love God so much, who have been so long preparing for death–what will become of me?”

See, my children, to die well we must live well;  to live well, we must seriously examine ourselves:  every evening think over what we have done during the day; at the end of each week review what we have done during the week;  at the end of each month review what we have done during the month;  at the end of the year, what we have done during the year.   By this means, my children, we cannot fail to correct ourselves and to become fervent Christians in a short time.   Then, when death comes, we are quite ready; we are happy to go to Heaven.”St John Vianney (1786-1859) lenten reflection - wed of the 4th week - 14 march 2018

I have nothing, O my Saviour and my God!

I have nothing, O my Saviour and my God!
I have nothing which can be pleasing unto Thee;
I can do nothing,
I am nothing
but I have a heart
and this is enough for me.
Health, honour and life itself
may be taken from me
but no man can rob me of my heart.
I have a heart and with this heart I can love Thee,
O my Saviour Jesus, worthy of all adoration!
And with this heart,
it is my determination to love You
and always I resolve to love Thee,
only to love Thee always.

Father John Croiset SJi have nothing o my saviour and my god - fr croiset sj - 14 march 2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The WORD

19 February 2018 – Monday of the First Week of Lent

19 February 2018 – Monday of the First Week of Lent

Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18, Psalms 19:8-10, 15, Matthew 25:31-46

Levitus 19:1-2 – And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.
Matthew 25:34-36 – Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’monday of the first week of lent - 19 feb 2018

We are definitely off now.   Lent has really begun.
It begins with a programme for us, proposed by God Himself!
Deeper holiness, more evident godliness is the aim of Lent for us and for whole Church.
Ultimately, the litmus test of our faith is in how we respond to those in need:  the hungry, the lonely, the stranger, the sick and the prisoner.   We could add to this list – those who are survivors of abuse, refugees looking for a place of safety and many who so despair in finding work.
God identifies with all these so powerfully.   What we do or neglect to do for those in need is our response to God.
Sometimes we may feel a sense of ‘compassion fatigue’ – the whole world seems to be such a huge mess and there is so much need all around us.   How, where do we begin?   It may just feel easier to close our eyes to it.   And too, we may experience fear for our own safety.
But despite these obstacles, God is challenging us.   Often there are simple things that can make a big difference – a smile, a word of conversation and encouragement, soup delivered to a family in need, a visit to an elderly neighbour.   If we try it, because God is God, we shall find that we receive far more than we give!   Be not afraid, for I am with you! “The Lord will overshadow you and you will find refuge under his wings” (Communion Antiphon for today).

Can I slow down enough today to be fully present to someone in need – even just with a smile and a little chat?
What is my biggest obstacle in reaching out to others?
What grace do I most need from God?

(Excerpt Fr Nicholas King SJ – The Lenten Journey to Easter & The Long Journey to the Resurrection)

Prayer to do the Will of God
By St Francis of Assisi

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God,
grant us in our misery, the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do
and always to desire, what pleases You.
Thus, inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be able to follow in the footprints of
Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You,
Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity
and are glorified God all-powerful, forever and ever.
(From “A Letter to the Entire Order”)

almighty eternal just and merciful god - st francis - 19 sept 2018



Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018

Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018
Isaiah 58:9-14, Psalms 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32

Show me Lord, your way, so that I may walk in your truth.

Isaiah 58:9-10: “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke,
the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your darkest hour will be like noon.
Luke 5:32: “I have come to call not the upright but sinners to repentance.”saturday after ash wed - 17 feb 2018

Isaiah makes it abundantly clear that it is our service to the poor and the weak that wins God’s favour, not lifeless religious practices.   The message becomes most meaningful in modern society, marked by unfair distribution of resources, hatred, violence, abuse and mutual accusations.   It is only when we strive against such evils that we win God’s approval.   “You shall be like the watered garden” the prophet says.   The image stands for the possession of every good thing that we desire.

The Gospel speaks of the call of Levi.   His joy was so great that he could hardly contain it.
He organised a party for his fellow tax-collectors, which unfailingly earned the criticism of the Pharisees.   Jesus’ answer was that His mission was precisely to wrongdoers, to the least and the lost.   These words indeed offer us hope when we stray and urge us to reach out to others as Jesus did.
That is the Christian calling, that is the Christian ‘job’!
(Archbishop Thomas Menamparanpil SDB – Gods Word)

Don’t you wonder what it was about Levi that moved Jesus to call him?   And what was it that caused Levi to respond?
He must have been a pretty successful man in economic terms but as a tax collector, he was undoubtedly not popular in his own community and was seen as a collaborator with Rome.   Perhaps he had a nagging sense of “there must be something more to life”. perhaps a sense of emptiness and sadness.   Something touched him so deeply at Jesus call, that he let go of a previous way of life and opened himself instantly to the gift being offered.   He was overjoyed, he was filled with joy, he was joyous, he bubbled over and threw a big party in order to share his joy!   And Jesus attended the party!   He was at the party!   He is at our party too when we allow Him entrance to our hearts.

When asked who he is, Pope Francis responded “I am a sinner, whom the Lord has looked upon.”   When we are able to see ourselves as Pope Francis does, as loved sinners, we are open to receive the forgiveness and help God longs to give us.   When we are aware of ourselves as sinners, loved and called by God, we respond with a deep sense of repentance, gratitude and joy, we throw that party and invite other sinners to join us.   We simply have to share the joy!

Where do I experience my own sinfulness?
How is this awareness a gift?
Spend some time with Jesus today sharing with Him your struggles and Your need of His help.
Have a party with Him!
(excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)

My soul, what have you done for God?
Look o’er your misspent years and see;
See first what you have done for God,
And then what God has done for thee!

Daily Lenten Prayer

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.
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.

my soul what have you done for god - daily lenten prayer 17 feb 2018

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

LENTEN REFLECTION – The First Week of Lent – 3 MARCH



Emptied for Our Sake
By Bernard of Clairvaux

Christ’s self-emptying was neither a simple gesture nor a limited one.   He emptied Himself even to the assuming of human nature, even to accepting death, death on a cross (Philippians 2:7).

Who is there that can adequately gauge the greatness of the humility, gentleness and self-surrender, revealed by the Lord of majesty in assuming human nature, in accepting the punishment of death, the shame of the cross?

But somebody will say: “Surely the Creator could have restored His original plan without all that hardship?”   Yes, He could but He chose the way of personal suffering so that man would never again have reason to display that worst and most hateful of all vices, ingratitude.

Even if God made you out of nothing, you have not been redeemed out of nothing.   In six days He created all things and among them, you.   On the other hand, for a period of thirty whole years He worked your salvation in the midst of the earth.

What He endured in those labours!   To His bodily needs and the abuses from His enemies did He not add the mightier burden of the humiliation of the cross and crown it all with the horror of His death?   And this was indeed necessary.   Man and beast you save, 0 Lord (Psalm 36:6).   How you have multiplied your mercy, 0 God!




Lenten Preparation Novena

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)


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.
Instill 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,
life-creating Spirit,
now and ever, and forever. Amen



Lenten Preparation Novena

Reflection – Do I despise the great gift of God’s Love?

“Is it not, I say, quite a common case for men and for women to neglect religion in their best days? They have been baptised, they have been taught their duty, they have been taught to pray, they know their Creed, their conscience has been enlightened, they have opportunity to come to Church.   This is their birthright, the privileges of their birth of water and of the Spirit;  but they sell it, as Esau did.    They are tempted by Satan with some bribe of this world and they give up their birthright in exchange for what is sure to perish and to make them perish with it.    Esau was tempted by the mess of pottage which he saw in Jacob’s hands.    Satan arrested the eyes of his lust and he gazed on the pottage, as Eve gazed on the fruit of the tree of knowledge  of good and evil.    Adam and Eve sold their birthright for the fruit of a tree—that was their bargain.    Esau sold his for a mess of lentils—that was his.   And men now-a-days often sell theirs, not indeed for any thing so simple as fruit or herb but for some evil gain or other, which at the time they think worth purchasing at any price; perhaps for the enjoyment of some particular sin, or more commonly for the indulgence of general carelessness and spiritual sloth because they do not like a strict life and have no heart for God’s service.    And thus they are profane persons, for they despise the great gift of God.”  –    (Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman)


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.  Amen