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Tag Archives: Lent

O ADORABLE FACE OF MY JESUS

O ADORABLE FACE OF MY JESUS

ESPECIALLY ON FRIDAYS AND DURING LENT/PASSIONTIDE 

O adorable Face of my Jesus, so mercifully bowed down upon the Tree of the Cross, on the day of thy Passion, for the salvation of the world, incline thy pity now towards poor sinners, cast upon us a look of compassion, and receive us with the kiss of peace.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 15:1-3, 11-32)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 15:1-3, 11-32)

YOUR BROTHER HERE WAS DEAD AND HAS COME TO LIFE.

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. “This man,” they said, “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he spoke this parable to them:

“A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

“When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, ‘How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here I am dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.’ So he left the place and went back to his father.

“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. ‘Your brother has come,’ replied the servant, ‘and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.’ He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, ‘Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.’

“The father said, ‘My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.’”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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LENT: SHORT MEDITATIONS ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS

LENT: SHORT MEDITATIONS ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS

THE 14 “CONSIDER…” MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST

(These reflections can be used as Stations of the Cross. In this case, pray at each station: “We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.” The following act of contrition may be used: “I love You, Jesus, my love above all things. I repent with my whole heart of having offended You. Never permit me to separate myself from You again. Grant that I may love You always and then do with me what You will.”)

I. JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH
Consider how Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the Cross.
(Our Father; Hail Mary; Glory be; to be repeated after each meditation.)

II. JESUS RECEIVES THE CROSS
Consider how Jesus, in making this journey with the Cross on his shoulders, thought of us, and offered for us to his Father the death he was about to undergo.

III. JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME
Consider the first fall of Jesus under his Cross. His flesh was torn by the scourges, his head was crowned with thorns; he had lost a great quantity of blood. So weakened he could scarcely walk, he yet had to carry this great load upon his shoulders. The soldiers struck him rudely, and he fell several times.

IV. JESUS IS MET BY HIS BLESSED MOTHER
Consider this meeting of the Son and the Mother, which took place on this journey. Their looks became like so many arrows to wound those hearts which loved each other so tenderly.

V. THE CROSS IS LAID UPON SIMON OF CYRENE
Consider how his cruel tormentors, seeing that Jesus was on the point of expiring, and fearing he would die on the way, whereas they wished him to die the shameful death of the Cross, constrained Simon of Cyrene to carry the Cross behind our Lord.

VI. VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS
Consider how the holy woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus so ill-used, and bathed in sweat and blood, wiped his face with a towel, on which he left the impression of his holy countenance.

VII. JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME
Consider the second fall of Jesus under the Cross; a fall which renews the pain of all the wounds in his head and members.

VIII. THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM MOURN FOR OUR LORD
Consider how these women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in such a pitiable state, streaming with blood, as he walked along. ‘Daughters of Jerusalem’, said he, ‘weep not for me, but for yourselves and for your children’.

IX. JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME
Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ. His weakness was extreme, and the cruelty of his executioners excessive, who tried to hasten his steps when he could scarcely move.

X. JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS
Consider the violence with which Jesus was stripped by the executioners. His inner garments adhered to his torn flesh, and they dragged them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Take pity on your Saviour thus cruelly treated.

XI. JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
Consider how Jesus, having been placed upon the Cross, extended his hands, and offered to his Eternal Father the sacrifice of his life for our salvation. Those barbarians fastened him with nails, and then, securing the Cross, allowed him to die with anguish on this infamous gibbet.

XII. JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS
Consider how Jesus, being consumed with anguish after three hours’ agony on the Cross, abandoned himself to the weight of his body, bowed his head and died.

XIII. JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS
Consider how, after our Lord had expired, two of his disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took him down from the Cross and placed him in the arms of his afflicted Mother, who received him with unutterable tenderness, and pressed him to her bosom.

XIV. JESUS IS PLACED IN THE SEPULCHRE
Consider how the disciples, accompanied by his holy Mother, carried the body of Jesus to bury it. They closed the tomb, and all came sorrowfully away.

 

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LENTEN CHALLENGE: MAKING ALL ONE’S CONVERSATIONS HOLY

LENTEN CHALLENGE: MAKING ALL ONE’S CONVERSATIONS HOLY

“ANY TIME WE CATCH OURSELVES AGREEING TO SOMETHING WHICH IS CONTRARY TO OUR CONVICTIONS, WE ARE NOT TALKING CHRIST’S LANGUAGE”

HOW TO HAVE CHRISTIAN CONVERSATION

“‘If anyone speaks, let it be as with words of God.’ In this admonition St Peter in his first Epistle sets us a standard, although a perfectly logical one. If we are Christians, Peter is saying, then we ought to talk like Christians. The words that we speak should be words that would not be out of place on the lips of Christ Himself.

NOT CONFINED TO RELIGIOUS TOPICS

This does not mean that all our conversation should be confined to religious topics. The Gospels record for us a very small percentage of our Lord’s conversations. It is only His words of major importance and of universal application that are related by the Evangelists.

JESUS IS FULLY HUMAN

However, Jesus is fully human, and we can be sure that He took part in ordinary, every day human conversation. With His disciples and other friends He undoubtedly discussed local politics, the weather and the happenings around Him – the comic, tragic or just plain interesting incidents which make up an ordinary day.

THE THREE NOTABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHRISTLIKE CONVERSATION

No, we do not have to be perpetually preaching in order to speak ‘with words of God.’ Even in the most casual chat there is a Christlike way of speaking. There are three notable qualities which characterise such conversation. These qualities are charity, humility and sincerity.

WHAT NOT TO MAKE TOPICS OF CONVERSATION

CHARITY bars from our conversation all that might give unnecessary pain to another. Sarcasm, ridicule, fault-finding, angry or resentful remarks – none of these, surely, would reflect Christ to our listeners. Equally foreign to the lips of Christ would be every type of unkind gossip, every type of tale-bearing, slander or detraction.

ONE-UPMANSHIP AND OTHER CONVERSATION HABITS

Perhaps a little less obvious than the need for charity is the need for HUMILITY in our conversation. There is no one (God excepted, let us hope) whom we love more than ourselves. Consequently it is a real struggle to keep self to a minimum in our talk.

Most of us are too sophisticated to indulge in outright bragging. Just listen to us, though, as we manage to mention (so very offhandedly!) some small triumph of ours or a compliment someone has paid us or an honour that has been accorded us.

Then there is the matter of one-upmanship, as it is called. This consists of topping the other person’s experiences. If someone mentions having had a serious operation, we describe our own much more serious one. If another person speaks of his trip to Mexico, we tell about our trip to Europe. If the speaker recalls an unusual bridge hand he held last night, we can remember a still more freakish hand which we held a week ago.

THE VERY TRICKIEST PART

SINCERITY is the third quality which characterises the conversation of a Christian. Insincerity is a much more difficult defect to spot in ourselves than is either uncharitableness or self-centredness. The reason is that usually we are not trying deliberately to deceive other persons. We first of all deceive ourselves and others only incidentally.

INCIDENTAL DECEPTIONS

All too often in conversation we say what we think we ought to say and try to convince ourselves that we really mean it. We stifle the small voice inside us which whispers, ‘You’re talking hogwash and you know it. You don’t really believe what you’re saying.’

AGREEING FOR POLITENESS’ SAKE

Sincerity does not demand that we stud our conversation with disagreeable truths or opposing opinions which may give offence without accomplishing any proportionate good. Sometimes it is more Christian to be silent. However, any time we catch ourselves saying or agreeing to something which is contrary to our own convictions, we are compromising our integrity. And we are not talking Christ’s language.

ARE WE UP TO THE CHALLENGE?

We may be tempted to feel that Christlike conversation is beyond us. There is too much to guard against. We simply cannot be that alert all the time.

True, we probably never will achieve absolute perfection. Nevertheless, with a little effort we certainly can speak ‘with words of God’ much more consistently than we do. We shall find it a challenging experience to try to go through just one day (for a starter) with our conversation keyed to the question, ‘What would Jesus probably say under these circumstances?’

It may tend to curtail our conversation somewhat. But no matter. Most of us talk too much anyway.”
– Fr Leo J. Trese

 

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TO BE PRAYED DURING LENT: THE SEVEN PENITENTIAL PSALMS

TO BE PRAYED DURING LENT: THE SEVEN PENITENTIAL PSALMS

TO BE PRAYED DURING LENT: THE SEVEN PENITENTIAL PSALMS

Begin by making the Sign of the Cross, saying, “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen”, in order to honour and invoke the all-powerful Holy Trinity and also to recall our Saviour Jesus Christ’s loving sacrifice on the Cross which He did for us all to be saved.

Before each psalm you pray this antiphon: “Remember not, O Lord, our or our parents’ offences: neither take vengeance of our sins.” After the last of the seven psalms, pray: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.” Finish your prayer with the Sign of the Cross as in the beginning, to thank the Holy Trinity and to thank our Lord Jesus for His suffering on the Cross for love of us, our ancestors and all mankind.

PSALM 6:

O Lord, in your anger do not reprove; nor punish me in your fury. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have no strength left. O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in torment. My soul also is greatly troubled. How long, O Lord, how long? How long will you be? Come back to me, O Lord, save my life; rescue me for the sake of your love. For no one remembers you in the grave; who will praise you in the world of the dead?

I am weary with moaning; I weep every night, drenching my bed with tears. My eyes have grown dim from troubles; I have weakened because of my foes. Away from me, you evildoers, for the Lord has heard my plaintive voice. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will grant all that I pray for. Let my enemies fall back in shame, all of a sudden – the whole bunch of them!

PSALM 32:

Blessed is the one whose sin is forgiven, whose iniquity is wiped away. Blessed are those in whom the Lord sees no guilt and in whose spirit is found no deceit. When I kept my sin secret, my body wasted away, I was moaning all day long. Your hand day and night lay heavy upon me; draining my strength, parching my heart as in the heat of a summer drought. Then I made known to you my sin and uncovered before you my fault, saying to myself, “To the Lord I will now confess my wrong.” And you, you forgave my sin, you removed my guilt.

So let the faithful ones pray to you in time of distress; the overflowing waters will not reach them. You are my refuge; you protect me from distress and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will teach you, I will show you the way to follow. I will watch over you and give you counsel. Do not be like the horse or the mule – senseless and led by bit and bridle. Many woes befall the wicked, but the Lord’s mercy enfolds those who trust in him. Rejoice in the Lord, and be glad, you who are upright; sing and shout for joy, you who are clean of heart.

PSALM 38:

O Lord, rebuke me not in your rage, punish me not in your fury. Your arrows have struck me; your hand has come down heavily upon me. Your anger has spared no part of my body, my sin gives no peace to my bones. For my transgressions overwhelm me; they weigh me down like an unbearable load. My wounds stink and fester within me, the outcome of my sinful folly. Stooped and bowed down, I go about mourning all day. My loins burn, my flesh is diseased, my body, worn out and utterly crushed; I groan in pain and anguish of heart. All my longing, O Lord, is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds as my strength ebbs; even the light has deserted my eyes. My friends avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbours stay far off. Those who seek my life lay snares for me; those who wish to hurt me speak of my ruin and plot against me all day long.

But like a deaf-mute, I neither hear nor open my mouth. I am like one whose ears hear not and whose mouth has no answer. For I put my trust in you, O Lord; you will answer for me, Lord God. I will pray, “Don’t let them gloat over me, nor take advantage of my helplessness when my foot slips. For I am about to fall, my pain is ever with me. I confess my transgression, I repent of my sin. Many are my foes; many are those who hate me for no reason, those who pay me evil for good and harass me because I seek good. Forsake me not, O Lord, stay not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord, my saviour!

PSALM 51:

Have mercy on me, O God, in your love. In your gret compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil. For I acknowledge my wrongdoings and have my sins ever in mind. Against you alone have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. You are right when you pass sentence and blameless in your judgment. For I have been guilt-ridden from birth, a sinner from my mother’s womb. I know you desire truth in my heart, teach me wisdom in my inmost being. Cleanse me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me, I shall be whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my offences. Create in me, O God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit.

Do not cast me out of your presence nor take your holy spirit from me. Give me again the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will show wrongdoers your ways and sinners will return to you. Deliver me, O God, from the guilt of blood, and of your justice I shall sing aloud. O Lord, open my lips, and I will declare your praise. You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, you would not delight in it. O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart you will not despise. Shower Zion with your favour: rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in fitting sacrifices, in burnt offerings and bulls offered on your altar.

PSALM 102:

O Lord, hear my prayer; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in trouble. Turn your ear to me; make haste to answer me when I call. For my days are passing away like smoke, my bones burning like a furnace. Like withered grass, my heart is blighted, and I forget to eat my bread. Because of my great grief I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like an owl in the wilderness, like a vulture among the ruins. I awake moaning like a lonely bird on the housetop. All day long I am taunted by my enemies; they use my name as a curse. The bread I eat is ashes, my drink is mingled with tears, for your wrath, your fury; for you have thrown me aside. My days are vanishing like shadows at night; I wither away like grass. But you, O Lord, you sit forever; your name endures through all generations.

Arise, have mercy on Zion; this is the time to show her your mercy. For your servants cherish her stones, and are moved to pity by her dust. O Lord, the nations will revere your name, and the kings of the earth your glory, when the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in all his splendour. For he will answer the prayer of the needy and will not despise their plea. Let this be written for future ages, “the Lord will be praised by a people he will form.” From his holy height in heaven, the Lord has looked on the earth to hear the groaning of the prisoners, and free those condemned to death. Then the name of the Lord will be cleared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem, when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship him. My walk has exhausted me, he has cut short my days. I cry to him, “My God, do not take my life in mid-course, you whose days are from age to age.” In the beginning you laid the earth’s foundation, the heavens are the work of your hands. Although they perish, you will remain; they will wear out like a garment, you change them like clothes: they pass away, but you remain the same, your years unending. Your servants’ children will dwell secure; their posterity will endure without fail.

PSALM 130:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears pay attention to the voice of my supplication. If you should mark our evil, O Lord, who could stand? But with you is forgiveness, and for that you are revered. I waited for the Lord, my soul waits, and I put my hope in his word. My soul expects the Lord more than watchmen the dawn. O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with him is unfailing love and with him full deliverance. He will deliver Israel from all its sins.

PSALM 143:

O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; answer me, you who are righteous and faithful. Do not bring your servant to judgment, for no mortal is just in your sight. The enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, sending me to darkness with those long dead. And so my spirit fails me, my heart is full of fear. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on what you have done and consider the work of your hand. I stretch out my hands to you, and thirst for you like a parched land.

O Lord, answer me quickly: my spirit is faint with yearning. Do not hide your face from me; save me from going down to the pit. Let the dawn bring me word of your love, for in you alone I put my trust. Show me the way I should walk, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for to you I flee for refuge. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your Spirit lead me on a safe path. Preserve me, O Lord, for your name’s sake; free me from distress, in your justice. You who are merciful, crush my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

 

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PRAYER FOR LENT

PRAYER FOR LENT

“LORD, DURING THIS LENTEN SEASON NOURISH ME”

God, heavenly Father, look upon me and hear my prayer during this holy season of Lent. By the good works You inspire, help me to discipline my body and to be renewed in spirit.

Without You I can do nothing. By Your Spirit help me to know what is right and to be eager in doing Your will. Teach me to find new life through penance. Keep me from sin, and help me live by Your commandment of love.

God of love, bring me back to You. Send Your Spirit to make me strong in faith and active in good works. May my acts of penance bring me Your forgiveness, open my heart to Your love, and prepare me for the coming feast of the Resurrection of Jesus.

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. 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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LORD, TEACH US HOW TO PRAY ARIGHT (HYMN)

– Lent –

Lord, teach us how to pray aright

With reverence and fear;

Though dust and ashes in thy sight,

We may, we must draw near.

We perish if we cease from prayer,

O grant us pow’r to pray;

And when to meet thee we prepare,

Lord, meet us in the way.

– James Montgomery (1771-1854)

 

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