But reality is …

But reality is different. Silently, with no voice to speak for them, even at this time of confusion, the simple faithful carry on fulfilling the Church’s true mission: prayer, bearing daily life with patience, always listening to the word of God. But they do not fit into the picture that people want to see; and […]

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Forty Days to Walk with God

walkwithGod copy“In the forty days of the preparation for Easter, we endeavor to get away from the heathenism that weighs us down, that is always driving us away from God, and we set off toward him once again. So, too, at the beginning of the Eucharist, in the confession of sin, we are always trying to take up this path again, to set out, to go to the mountain of God’s word and God’s presence…  We must learn that it is only in the silent, barely noticeable things that what is great takes place, that man becomes God’s image and the world once more becomes the radiance of God’s glory. Let us ask the Lord to give us a receptivity to his gentle presence; let us ask him to help us not to be so deafened and desensitized by this world’s loud outcry that our receptivity fails to register him. Let us ask him that we may hear his quiet voice, go with him, and be of service together with him and in his way, so that his kingdom may become present in this world… We imitate God, we live by God, like God, by entering into Christ’s manner of life. He has climbed down from his divine being and became one of us; he has given himself and does and does so continually… It is by these little daily virtues, again and again, that we step out of our bitterness, our anger toward others, our refusal to accept the other’s otherness; by them, again and again, we open up to each other in forgiveness. This “littleness” is the concrete form of our being like Christ and living like God, imitating God; he has given himself to us so that we can give ourselves to him and to one another.”
– Pope Benedict XVI, Many Religions – One Covenant, Israel, the Church and the World, p. 81, 82-83, 87
Let us Pray:
Prompt our actions with your inspiration, we pray, O Lord,
and further them with your constant help,
that all we do may always begin from you,
and by you be brought to completion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.
Collect, Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Miserere: A Penitential Prayer

Miserere, by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), is a setting of Psalm 51: It is the best known of the seven Penitential Psalms; the others are Psalms 6, 32, 38, 102, 130, and 143. These prayers are essential to our prayer life, leading us to reflect on God’s mercy, and our need to turn back to Him and be welcomed like the Prodigal Child when he recognizes his need for His father.

Take a moment and reflect on the Miserere (Psalm 51):

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. *
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt *
and cleanse me from my sin.

My offenses truly I know them; *
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned; *
what is evil in your sight I have done.

That you may be justified when you give sentence *
and be without reproach when you judge.
O see, in guilt I was born, *
a sinner was I conceived.

Indeed you love truth in the heart; *
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean; *
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, *
that the bones you have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away your face *
and blot out all my guilt.

A pure heart create for me, O God, *
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, *
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help; *
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways *
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper, *
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips *
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight, *
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit. *
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

In your goodness, show favor to Zion: *
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice, *
holocausts offered on your altar.

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt, 1669

Lenten Preparation

Lent. It’s just around the corner, and now is the time to consider what you desire to get out of it…

I don't own the rights.

Our Lay Canossians (tertiaries) have been talking at our February meetings about the upcoming weeks of Lent, and how they might make the best of this ‘Spiritual pilgrimage’ of the Church. The conversation started because one of them mentioned how meaningless it is to just ‘give up stuff’. So, we are taking another look at the Lenten experience, one that requires a deeper Christian maturity. Come, share your thoughts with us at our fledgling blog!

Update: There are some good ideas in the comments!

The Way of the Cross

The Fridays of Lent, churches around the world open their doors to pray the Stations of the Cross, a tradition promoted by Saint Leonard of Port Maurice (d.1751). These stations mark the path of Jesus from his condemnation before Pilate, to his death, burial and resurrection. These reflections, written by Rev. Richard Furey of Baltimore (1984) walk through the passion of our Lord, through His Mother Mary’s eyes.

Pope Benedict XVI explains:

“The Way of the Cross” is not only a great testimony to an inner depth and maturity, but it is in fact a school for interiority and consolation. It is also a school for the examination of conscience, for conversion, for inner transformation and compassion – not as sentimentality, as a mere feeling, but as a disturbing experience that knocks on the door or my heart, that obliges me to know myself and to become a better person.”

Blessed Prayer!

My Lord and my God,
Under the loving eyes of our Mother,
We are making ready to accompany You
along this path of sorrow,
which was the price paid for our redemption.
We wish to suffer all that You suffered,
To offer You our poor, contrite hearts,
because You are innocent, and yet
You are going to die for us,
who are the only really guilty ones.
My mother, Virgin of sorrows,
help us to relive those bitter hours,
which your Son wished to spend on earth,
so that we, who were made from a handful of clay,
may finally live in the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Stations I-V:

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by Your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.


Stations VI-XI:

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by Your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.


Stations XII-XVI:

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by Your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Let us pray:

Sonnet to our Lord on the Cross

I am not moved to love you, O my God,
That I might hope in promised heaven to dwell;
nor am I moved by fear of pain in hell
to turn from sin and follow where you trod.
You move me, Lord, broken beneath the rod,
Or stretched out on the cross, as nails compel
you hand to twitch. It moves me that we sell,
to mockery and death, your precious blood.
It is, O Christ, your love which moves me so,
that my love rests not on a promised prize;
Nor holy fear on threat of endless woe,
It is not milk and honey, buy the flow
of blood from blessed wounds before my eyes,
that waters my buried soul and makes it grow.