Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday – ‘… We do little or nothing …’

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

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

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

Consider the glowing examples of the holy Fathers, in whom shone true religion and perfection; compared with them, we do little or nothing. Alas, how can our life be compared with theirs!
The Saints and friends of Christ served Our Lord in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in toil and weariness: in watching and fasting, in prayer and meditation, in persecutions and insults without number (Heb.9:38, 1 Cor.4:11).

How countless and constant were the trials endured by the Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins and all those others, who strove to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
These all hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them to life eternal (Jn 12:35).
How strict and self-denying was the life of the holy Fathers in the desert! How long and grievous the temptations they endured!
How often they were assaulted by the Devil!
How frequent and fervent their prayers to God! How strict their fasts! How great their zeal and ardour for spiritual progress!
How valiant the battles they fought to overcome their vices!
How pure and upright their intention towards God!

All day long they laboured and the night they gave to continuous prayer; even as they worked, they never ceased from mental prayer.
They spent all their time with profit, every hour seeming short in the service of God.
They often forgot even their bodily needs in the great sweetness of contemplation.
They renounced all riches, dignities, honours, friends and kindred; they desired to possess nothing in this world.
Scarcely would they take the necessities of life and only with reluctance would they provide for the needs of the body.
Thus, though destitute of earthly goods, they were abundantly rich in grace and all virtues.
Outwardly they were poor but inwardly they were refreshed with grace and heavenly consolation.
They were strangers to the world but to God, they were dear and familiar friends (Ex 33:11).
To themselves they were nothing but in the eyes of God, they were precious and beloved.
Grounded in true humility, they lived in simple obedience, they walked in charity and patience; (Eph 5:2) and thus daily increased in the Spirit, and received great grace from God.

… Oh, the carelessness and coldness of this present time!
Sloth and lukewarmness makes life wearisome for us and we soon lose our early fervour!
May the longing to grow in grace not remain dormant in you …
(Book 1, Ch 18:1-4a,6)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 February – “Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

One Minute Reflection – 19 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9Psalms 51:3-45-618-19Matthew 9:14-15 and the Memorial of Blessed Alvarez of Cordova OP (c 1350–c 1430)

“Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

REFLECTION – “Although it is true, that the washing of regeneration is what chiefly makes “people new” (cf. Eph 4,24 – Col 3,10) nevertheless, because there is still for all of us, a daily renewal against the rust of mortality and in the path of progress, there is no-one, who ought not always to be better. In general, we still have to struggle, so that in the Day of Redemption, no-one may be found in sins of long standing.

What, therefore, dearly beloved, any Christian ought, at all times to do, should now be pursued more carefully and more devotedly, to fulfil the apostolic institution of forty days of fast, not only by scant food but especially by fasting from sins…To these reasonable and holy fasts, nothing is joined more carefully, than the works of almsgiving, which under the one name of mercy, includes many praiseworthy acts of devotion, so that the spirits of all the faithful can be equal in merit, even with unequal means.” – St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor – 6th Sermon for Lent, 1-2; SC 49

PRAYER – Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace upon us, who seek to make our lenten journey fruitful. Confirm us in Your service and help us to bear witness to You in the society in which we live by our lives, our fasting and prayer, our gift of self. Listen kindly we pray, to the prayers of Bl Alvarez who so avidly followed in the footsteps of our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name, with the Holy Spirit, we pray, one God forever, amen.