Saturday, March 10, 2007

10/03/07 week of the second Sunday in Lent

[Please remember this is a sort of "menu" from which to select. No one has to pray it all]

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O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

Psalm 75, 76;Psalm 23, 27; Jer. 5:20-31; Rom. 3:19-31; John 7:1-13

From Forward Day by Day:

Romans 3:19-31. Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are now justified by his grace as a gift.

Today I turn sixty; it is the third birthday beyond my mother's death. A monk in California spoke to me once of how, at its best, maternal love comes closest to God's unqualified delight in us, and certainly my mother's unabashed love for her family gave us a glimpse of God.

As I turn then to my own more mixed and complicated motherhood, I remember tender moments, silly adventures--and the sound of my children weeping. I know we shared joy; I also know some of my choices caused them terrible anguish.

"All of us have sinned," Paul tells us. All of us. When the weight of my sins and failures and follies hunches my shoulders, when grief at past sins haunts and hurts me, I cling to Paul's assertion that Christ has already atoned for my sins. Grace is God's generous gift to us.

I cannot go back and change what is past, for my mother, for me, for my grown children. My mother now rests in peace and feasts in heaven, and for those of us still in this life, God's gift of grace through his beloved Son offers hope and healing and, ultimately, salvation.

Today we remember:

Today is a Lenten deria, a free day.

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Moosonee (Ontario, Canada)

40 Ideas for Lent: A Lenten calendar


Buy a copy of your local newspaper today. Read about the issues facing your community and take time during the day to pray about them.

Idea by: frin

Lent quote: "Lord, I am blind and helpless, stupid and ignorant. Cause me to hear. Cause me to know. Teach me to do. Lead me." – Henry Martyn

A Celtic lenten Calendar

Thanks to Thee, O God, that I have risen today,
To the rising of this life itself;
May it be to Thine own glory, O God of every gift,
And to the glory of my soul likewise.

O great God, aid Thou my soul
With the aiding of Thine own mercy;
Even as I clothe my body with wool,
Cover Thou my soul with the shadow of Thy wing.

Help me to avoid every sin,
And the source of every sin to forsake;
And as the mist scatters on the crest of the hills,
May each ill haze clear from my soul, O God.
++++++++++ Reflections

I should like to respond by spending my earthly life as Our Lady did ... I unite myself to the soul of the Virgin at the moment in which the Father was covering her with His shadow, while the Word was taking flesh within her and the Holy Spirit came upon her to accomplish this great mystery.
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Reading from the Desert Christians

One day Abba Arsenius consulted an old Egyptian monk about his own thoughts Someone noticed this and said to him, 'Abba Arsenius, how is it that you with such a good Latin and Greek education, ask this peasant about your thoughts?' He replied, 'I have indeed been taught Latin and Greed, but I do not know even the alphabet of this peasant.'

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

server is down

From the Principles of the Third Society of St. Francis:

Day Ten - The Third Aim

To live simply

The first Christians surrendered completely to our Lord and recklessly gave all that they had, offering the world a new vision of a society in which a fresh attitude was taken towards material possessions. This vision was renewed by Saint Francis when he chose Lady Poverty as his bride, desiring that all barriers set up by privilege based on wealth should be overcome by love. This is the inspiration for the third aim of the Society, to live simply.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

IN THIS solitude,
I seek your presence.
In this silence,
I listen for the whisper of your grace.
Remember this child, O God,
living in the shadow of the cross.

- Susan Gregg-Schroeder
In the Shadow of God’s Wings

From page 84 of In the Shadow of God’s Wings by Susan Gregg-Schroeder. Copyright © 1997 by Susan Gregg-Schroeder.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"From Merton's Hermitage"

I was offered the use of Thomas Merton's hermitage at Gethsemani for thirty days at the beginning of my contemplative sabbatical year. I wasn't sure then that I could live thirty days alone out in the woods of Kentucky. I'm an extrovert, always thinking with my mouth. Yet I really wanted to begin the year with thirty days of solitude. I'd always been a Merton fan, and I knew he could be my brother-guide. To make a long and wonderful story very short, it was sweet and got sweeter and sweeter. Have you ever even spent twenty-four hours of your life in solitude and silence without another person defining you, needing you, talking to you? What happens is like losing shells or encasements. As the days go by, these masks fall away: No one needs me now. I'm not important to anybody. I could die here and no one would know for at least two more weeks. I'm not a public speaker, I'm not a priest, I'm not a Franciscan, I'm not this, I don't have that kind of education or those kind of friends or that kind of family or I'm not the pastor of New Jerusalem. I got more and more naked. I had to keep going back to the Lord for my identity: Who am I now, Lord? In solitude, at last we're able to let the Lord define us the way we are always supposed to be defined: by relationship, the I-thou relationship, in relation to a Presence that demands nothing of us but presence. If we've ever lived in the realm of pure presence without our world of achieving, we don't know how to breathe there at first. And that's precisely why the Lord has to breathe through us. The Lord has to be our life, the Lord has to be our identity. At last, we allow ourselves to be defined by relationship instead of by the good - even the holy - things we've done.

from Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction

From John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., Tradition Day by Day: Readings from Church Writers. Augustinian Press. Villanova, PA, 1994.

Follow the example of Christ

God our Savior made a plan for raising the human race from its fall and restoring us to his friendship after the long alienation from him caused by our disobedience. This was the reason for Christ's coming in the flesh, for his giving us in the Gospel a pattern of how we ought to live, for his suffering, his dying on the cross, his burial and resurrection. By imitating him we were to be saved, and would regain the adoptive sonship that had been ours in the beginning.

To attain holiness, therefore, we must follow the example that Christ gave us, not only in his gentleness, humility, and patience during life, but also in his death. Paul, who modeled his life on Christ's, said that it was by dying as Christ died that he hoped to attain to the resurrection of the dead.

Now we imitate the death of Christ by being buried with him in baptism. What does this kind of burial mean, and what do we hope to gain by it? First of all, it means making a complete break with our former way of life, which is impossible, our Lord said, without being born again. To be born again means beginning a new life, and this we cannot do without bringing our previous life to an end.

Basil the Great, (330-379), bishop of Caesarea, organized Cappadocian monasticism and left many writings as his legacy.

Daily Readings From "My Utmost for His Highest", Oswald Chambers


"Preach the word." 2 Timothy 4:2

We are not saved to be "channels only," but to be sons and daughters of God. We are not turned into spiritual mediums, but into spiritual messengers; the message must be part of ourselves. The Son of God was His own message, His words were spirit and life; and as His disciples our lives must be the sacrament of our message. The natural heart will do any amount of serving, but it takes the heart broken by conviction of sin, and baptized by the Holy Ghost, and crumpled into the purpose of God before the life becomes the sacrament of its message.

There is a difference between giving a testimony and preaching. A preacher is one who has realized the call of God and is determined to use his every power to proclaim God's truth. God takes us out of our own ideas for our lives and we are "batter'd to shape and use," as the disciples were after Pentecost. Pentecost did not teach the disciples any thing; it made them the incarnation of what they preached - "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me."

Let God have perfect liberty when you speak. Before God's message can liberate other souls, the liberation must be real in you. Gather your material, and set it alight when you speak.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 32: On the Tools and Property of the Monastery

For the care of the monastery's property
in tools, clothing and other articles
let the Abbess appoint sisters
on whose manner of life and character she can rely;
and let her, as she shall judge to be expedient,
consign the various articles to them,
to be looked after and to be collected again.
The Abbess shall keep a list of these articles,
so that
as the sisters succeed one another in their assignments
she may know what she gives and what she receives back.

If anyone treats the monastery's property
in a slovenly or careless way,
let her be corrected.
If she fails to amend,
let her undergo the discipline of the Rule.


To those who think for a moment that the spiritual life is an excuse to ignore the things of the world, to go through time suspended above the mundane, to lurch from place to place with a balmy head and a saccharine smile on the face, let this chapter be fair warning. Benedictine spirituality is as much about good order, wise management and housecleaning as it is about the meditative and the immaterial dimensions of life. Benedictine spirituality sees the care of the earth, and the integration of prayer and work, body and soul, as essential parts of the journey to wholeness that answers the emptiness in each of us.

Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan
Read Excerpts from the Church Fathers during Lent

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 48-59


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