I liked this meditation by Fr. Goring about planning a "failed Lent," and thought, "He's right! We can't give up before we start." But, as I reflect on Ash Wednesday coming this week, I keep thinking and asking myself, "What will bring me closer to God?" What penance will draw me closer to the suffering Jesus? What additional prayer or reading will make me more aware throughout the day of this holy penitential season? What will throw open the door so that I'm more receptive to God's grace? I'm still praying and reflecting and haven't decided where I'm being led, but I'm confident that all will become clear.
God wants me to have a holy Lent. The Blessed Mother and the saints want me to have a holy Lent. My guardian angel wants me to have a holy Lent. So how can I go wrong if I try to cooperate with them?
I'm praying for everyone who visits the blog. That's one thing I will do every morning during my prayer time because we are all in this together. May we all have a holy and grace-filled Lent. Please pray for me as well.
As Fr. Goring always ends, "Viva Cristo Rey!" Amen!
I have been praying for knowledge of what I should do for Lent in addition to the traditional fasting, with little success.I was awakened from my sleep last night with the inspiration to bridle my tongue as an additional penance. I’m not sure if it was the Holy Ghost,my guardian angel or both speaking to me, but interestingly enough my morning scriptural reading today was James chapter 3. That sealed the deal!
I love the term "bridle." When I was taking horseback riding lessons, I learned how to saddle and bridle my mount. And then I had to learn how to guide the horse gently using that bridle as the tool of control. I think I will follow this and ask my guardian angel to take the reins and treat me like the horse. I doubt if I would be too successful controlling the bridle.
Thanks, Cynthia, for such a wonderful image!
Since you have to give up something for Lent, I gave up Catholicism for Lent. I tell this joke every year.
Well, Mr. PROTY, no one has to give-up anything for Lent. Fast and abstinence from flesh meat are the only obligatory penances. "Giving-up" anything during Lent is a purely voluntary penance on top of the obligatory ones. Perhaps you would have known that had you not given-up Catholicism.
This prayer sums up the best intentions for this beautiful season.
With fasting I gladden my hope in You, my Lord, Who are to come again.
Fasting hastens my preparation for Your coming, the sole expectation of my days and nights.
Fasting makes my body thinner, so that what remains can more easily shine with the spirit.
While waiting for You, I wish neither to nourish myself with blood nor to take life–so that the animals may sense the joy of my expectation.
But truly, abstaining from food will not save me. Even if I were to eat only the sand from the lake, You would not come to me, unless the fasting penetrated deeper into my soul.
I have come to know through my prayer, that bodily fasting is more a symbol of true fasting, very beneficial for someone who has only just begun to hope in You, and nevertheless very difficult for someone who merely practices it.
Therefore I have brought fasting into my soul to purge her of many impudent fiancé’s and to prepare her for You like a virgin.
And I have brought fasting into my mind, to expel from it all daydreams about worldly matters and to demolish all the air castles, fabricated from those daydreams.
I have brought fasting into my mind, so that it might jettison the world and prepare to receive Your Wisdom.
And I have brought fasting into my heart, so that by means of it my heart might quell all passions and worldly selfishness.
I have brought fasting into my heart, so that heavenly peace might ineffably reign over my heart, when Your stormy Spirit encounters it.
I prescribe fasting for my tongue, to break itself of the habit of idle chatter and to speak reservedly only those words that clear the way for You to come.
And I have imposed fasting on my worries so that it may blow them all away before itself like the wind that blows away the mist, lest they stand like dense fog between me and You, and lest they turn my gaze back to the world.
And fasting has brought into my soul tranquility in the face of uncreated and created realms, and humility towards men and creatures. And it has instilled in me courage, the likes of which I never knew when I was armed with every sort of worldly weapon.
What was my hope before I began to fast except merely another story told by others, which passed from mouth to mouth?
The story told by others about salvation through prayer and fasting became my own.
False fasting accompanies false hope, just as no fasting accompanies hopelessness.
But just as a wheel follows behind a wheel, so true fasting follows true hope.
Help me to fast joyfully and to hope joyously, for You, my Most Joyful Feast, are drawing near to me with Your radiant smile.
Prayers by the Lake
I think perhaps Proty was joking about giving up Catholicism, since he said it was a joke. Am I correct, Proty?
If not, I will be praying for you. I once had two Jehovahs Witnesses visit me. Both the ladies were fallen away Catholics. I told them that made me sad because I couldn't imagine trying to live without the receiving Jesus in the Real Presence of the. Eucharist.
In fact, I pray for everyone who visits the blog regardless of their views. Let us all pray for one another, and may we have a blessed and grace-filled Lent.
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