Friday, February 18, 2005

My soul lies in the dust

by your will revive me.

I declared my ways and you answered;
teach me your statutes.

St. Dominic meditating on the Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - from a painting by Fra Angelico

Make me grasp the way of your precepts
and I will muse on your wonders.

My soul pines away with grief;
by your word raise me up.

Keep me from the way of error
and teach me your law.

I have chosen the way of truth
with your decrees before me.

I bind myself to do your will;
Lord, do not disappoint me.

I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart.
Psalm 119:25-32

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Blessed are the merciful

for they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 5:7

The works of mercy

Dear friends,
at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God,
and nature itself
is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God.

The heavens, the sea and all that is in them
bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator,
and the marvellous beauty of the elements as they obey him
demands from the intelligent creation

a fitting expression of its gratitude.

But with the return of that season
marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption,
and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast,
we are summoned more urgently
to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit….

Dear friends,
what the Christian should be doing at all times
should be done now with greater care and devotion,
so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled,
not simply by abstinence from food
but above all by the renunciation of sin.

There is no more profitable practice
as a companion to holy and spiritual fasting
than that of almsgiving.

This embraces under the single name of mercy
many excellent works of devotion,
so that the good intentions of all the faithful
may be of equal value,
even where their means are not.

The love that we owe both God and man
is always free from any obstacle
that would prevent us from having a good intention….

The works of mercy are innumerable.

From a Sermon by Pope St. Leo the Great
(Office of the Readings)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Three times I besought the Lord about this

that it should leave me;
but he said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:5-9

Reflect and prepare

'Dear brothers and sisters, during Lent,
aided by the Word of God,
let us reflect upon how important it is
that each community accompany with loving understanding
those who grow old.

'Moreover, one must become accustomed
to thinking confidently about the mystery of death,
so that the definitive encounter with God
occur in a climate of interior peace, in the awareness
that He "who knit me in my mother's womb" (cf. Psalm 139:13b)
and who willed us "in his image and likeness" (cf. Gen. 1:26)
will receive us.'
John Paul II
from his Message for Lent 2005