Monday in the First Week of Lent
Deuteronomy, Chapter 20, Verse 2-3
2 When you are drawing near to battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the army, 3 and say to them, “Hear, O Israel! Today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies. Do not be weakhearted or afraid, alarmed or frightened by them.
We are in a battle with the forces of darkness. Our priest the Pope of our church is saying to us “Do not be afraid”. He is reminding us that the love of God is like a pebble that is dropped on the smooth surface of a pond. When God’s love truly pierces our hearts, as the pebble on the pond, our own love will ripple outward perfectly in symmetry with the universe, embracing everything in its path with His reflected glory. When God’s love truly pierces our hearts, we reflect with sorrow on our sins and transgressions. We as Lord Tennyson acclaimed must develop the mantra “To Strive, To Seek, To Find and not to Yield.” We seek to develop within ourselves genuine compunction of heart.
Compunction is a deep and lasting sorrow for our sins. It is not a gloomy or depressing sorrow, but an intelligent admission of your sins and a sincere determination to do something about them. It is a realization of how you have failed such a loving God and brings with it a readiness to accept anything that He wills. Compunction opens the way to many blessings and precious graces. Compunction will cause the world to lose its magic attraction. Compunction will help you realize how quickly earthly joys pass away, while eternity goes on forever. By compunction a man begins to attack his faults and to practice the opposite virtues.
Monday in the First Week of Lent
EPISTLE. Ezech. xxxiv. 11-16.
THUS, saith the Lord God: Behold I Myself will seek My sheep and will visit them. As the shepherd visiteth his flock in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered, so will I visit My sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and will gather them out of the countries, and will bring them to their own land: and I will feed them in the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the habitations of the land. I will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in the high mountains of Israel: there shall they rest on the green grass and be fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed My sheep: and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost : and that which was driven away I will bring again: and I will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve: and I will feed them in judgment, saith the Lord Almighty.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxv. 31-46.
Prayer. Convert us, O God, our salvation; and, that the fast of Lent may benefit us, instruct our minds with heavenly discipline.
Read: Lent is a special time for those preparing to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). RCIA is a period of learning and discernment for those seeking to become Catholic.
Reflect; Take time to reflect on your own decision to become a member of the Church.
Pray: Keep the elect, candidates, and their sponsors in your prayers this Lent.
Act: Download the CRS Rice Bowl App. . . today and try a new way of tracking your Lenten journey, while also receiving daily reflections and meatless recipes.
Clean Monday, also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of Great Lent in the Eastern Orthodox Christian, Saint Thomas Christians of India and Eastern Catholic churches. It is a moveable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday. The common term for this day, "Clean Monday", refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. It is sometimes called "Ash Monday", by analogy with Ash Wednesday (the day when the Western Churches begin Lent). The term is often a misnomer, as only a small subset of Eastern Catholic Churches practices the Imposition of Ashes. The Maronite Catholic Church and The Mar Thoma Nasranis of India-Syro-Malabar Catholic Church are notable amongst the Eastern rite that employs the use of ashes on this day. Liturgically, Clean Monday—and thus Lent itself—begins on the preceding (Sunday) night, at a special service called Forgiveness Vespers, which culminates with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before one another and ask forgiveness. In this way, the faithful begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love. The entire first week of Great Lent is often referred to as "Clean Week", and it is customary to go to Confession during this week, and to clean the house thoroughly. The theme of Clean Monday is set by the Old Testament reading appointed to be read at the Sixth Hour (noon) on this day (Isaiah 1:1–20), which says, in part:
Wash yourselves and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well. Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, I will make them white as wool (vv. 16–18).
When ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret... (v. 16–18).
Preparing for Battle Know Your Weapons
The weapon of Sacred Scripture
· Each time the Devil attacked with the temptation to doubt or disobey God, Jesus quoted Scripture to throw him back.
· Scripture is our sword against Satan!
· We must listen carefully to the scriptural readings in Mass and meditate on them deeply.
· We must read Scripture on our own.
· We must also memorize scriptural texts that we can use against temptation. Then, when the Enemy assaults us, we can imitate Our Lord by the effective counterassault of quoting the word of God.
The Way Resolutions
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."
You are so young! To me you are like a ship setting out on its voyage. If that slight deviation of to-day is left uncorrected, you will never reach port in the end.
 Paone, Anthony J., S.J. My Daily Bread, Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.