Monday 2nd week in Lent
Deuteronomy, Chapter 31, Verse 12-13
12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, as well as the resident aliens who live in your communities—that they may hear and so learn to fear the LORD, your God, and to observe carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children also, who do not know it yet, shall hear and learn to fear the LORD, your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.
With the coming of the secular age we have forgotten Who made us great and have not taught our children and immigrants fear of the Lord and as a result our world languishes.
Fear not, my people! Remember, Israel, You were sold to the nations not for your destruction; It was because you angered God that you were handed over to your foes. For you provoked your Maker with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods; You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you. She indeed saw coming upon you the anger of God; and she said: “Hear, you neighbors of Zion! (Baruch 4: 5-9)
Fear not, my children; call out to God! He who brought this upon you will remember you. As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek him; For he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.” (Baruch 4: 27-29)
What Can We Do? We must promote faith by having devotion to the Divine Mercy and prayer in our families. Christ started His ministry via Mary’s request at the wedding at Cana with a new family: a couple; a new Eve and a new Adam. Christ ended his ministry by making a new family. Woman this is your son…what is needed today to restore, protect and sanctify our world is devotion through families to the Divine Mercy. The Divine Mercy devotion is meant for the end times, therefore, the consecration prayer which enriches the devotion, fits perfectly into the “real time” of families everywhere.
Lord Jesus, if you want to pour your mercy out on souls, how much more must you desire to pour it out on whole families, especially in our time when so many families reject you. Therefore, we the ______________ Family offer ourselves to your merciful love and ask for the graces and mercy that other families refuse. We ask this in order to console your Heart and because we need your mercy. Fill us with your mercy, Lord. Please forgive us our sins, and give us the grace to be merciful to one another in our deeds, words, and prayers. May the rays of mercy that go forth from your Heart reign in our home and in our hearts. Please make our home a place where your mercy can rest and where we, too, can find rest in your mercy. Bless us with your mercy when we leave our home and bless us again when we return. Bless everyone we meet with the mercy you pour into our hearts. Especially bless those who visit our home — may they experience your mercy here.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, help us to faithfully live our Offering to God's Merciful Love. We give ourselves to you and ask you to share with us your Immaculate Heart. Help us to accept your Son's mercy with your own openness of heart at the Annunciation. Help us to be grateful for God's mercy with your own joyful heart at the Visitation. Help us to trust in God's mercy, especially during times of darkness, with your own steadfast faith at Calvary. Finally, Mary, protect and preserve our family in love, so that one day we may rejoice together with you and all the saints in the communion of the eternal Family of Love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
St. Joseph, pray for us. St. Faustina, pray for us. St. Thérèse, pray for us.
Monday 2nd week in Lent
Prayer. BE propitious, O Lord, to our prayers, and heal the desires of our souls, that, having received forgiveness, we may ever rejoice in Thy benediction.
EPISTLE, in. Kings xvii. 8-16.
In those days: The word of the Lord came to Elias, the Thesbite, saying: Arise, and go to Sarephta a city of the idonians, and dwell there: for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee. He arose and went to Sarephta. And when he was come to the gate of the city, he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called her, and said to her: Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And when she was going to fetch it, he called after her, saying: Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. And she answered: As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruse: behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it and die. And Elias said to her: Fear not but go and do as thou hast said: but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth-cake, and bring it to me: and after make for thyself and thy son. For thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth. She went and did according to the word of Elias: and he ate, and she and her house: and from that day the pot of meal wasted not, and the cruse of oil was not diminished, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke in the hand of Elias.
GOSPEL. Matt, xxiii. 1-12.
At that time Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, and salutations in the market-place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. But be not you called Rabbi. For One is your master, and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth: for One is your father Who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for One is your master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Explanation. The law of God imposes certain obligations on us. The priest and the teacher teach God’s Gospel in His name, and we shall be judged if we refuse to believe God’s truth and in His Church because our teachers may not practise what they preach.
The Bible is a weapon and in the hands of the untrained, “You could shoot your eye out kid”. Therefore, the Bible should be handled with care. Using an approved translation of the Bible; we should approach scripture reading in light of the liturgy and church Dogmas. “Dogma is by definition nothing other than an interpretation of Scripture.” (Pope Benedict XVI) Dogmas are the Church’s infallible interpretation of Scripture. In the 1970’s the Catholic Church revised its lectionary—the order of scriptural readings for the Mass. The readings now unfold in a three-year cycle and include almost all the books of both testaments of the Bible. The great thing about lectionary is that it presents the scriptures and also teaches us a method of understanding the Scriptures: Showing us a consistent pattern of promise and fulfillment. The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old is revealed the New. Perhaps a good practice would be for us to read the daily scripture in the lectionary; maybe even before Mass.
"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo's description remains fundamental.
1. He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer, but the passage should not be too long.
2. The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.
3. The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.
4. The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously, this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.
These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve, and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group.
The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.
When dismayed or grieved let these scriptural promises lift up your soul in trust and hope. Listen to our Lords words of encouragement, and consolation.
· Because children have blood and flesh in common, so He in the same way has shared in these, so that through death He might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is, the Devil; and might deliver them who, throughout their life, were kept in servitude by fear of death. Heb 2: 14– 15
· Christ has risen from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also comes resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made to live. But each in his own turn, Christ as first-fruits, then those who are Christ’s, who have believed, at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He does away with all sovereignty, authority, and power. For He must reign until “He has put all things under His feet.” 1 Cor 15: 20– 25
· You shall not fear them; for it is the LORD your God who fights for you. Dt 3: 22
· You draw near this day to battle against your enemies: Let not your heart faint; do not fear, or tremble, or be in dread of them; for the LORD your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. Dt 20: 3– 4
· No evil will befall the man who fears the LORD, but in trial He will deliver him again and again. Sir 33: 1
· I give them everlasting life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. Jn 10: 28
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."
Now! Return to your noble life now. Don't be a fool: 'now' is not too soon... nor too late.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 16. Bible Study.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.