Frequently, and devoutly, refer to these prayers for each week in Lent.
FIRST WEEK OF LENT: My tempted Lord, You allowed Yourself to endure the humiliation of being tempted by satan himself. You did so to show me and all Your children that we can overcome our own temptations through You and by Your strength. Help me, dear Lord, to daily turn to You with my struggles so that You will be victorious in me. Jesus, I trust in You.
SECOND WEEK OF LENT: My transfigured Lord, You are truly glorious in a way that is beyond my comprehension. Your glory and splendor are beyond what my imagination can ever comprehend. Help me to always keep the eyes of my heart upon You and to allow the image of Your Transfiguration to strengthen me when I’m tempted to despair. I love You, my Lord, and place all my hope in You. Jesus, I trust in You.
THIRD WEEK OF LENT: My passionate Lord, I know that I am a sinner who is in need of Your mercy and, at times, in need of Your holy wrath. Help me to humbly receive Your rebukes of love and to allow You to drive all sin from my life. Have mercy on me, dear Lord. Please have mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.
FOURTH WEEK OF LENT: Father in Heaven, I thank You for the perfect gift of Christ Jesus Your Son. By giving Jesus to us, You give us Your very Heart and Soul. May I be open to You more fully and to the perfect gift of Jesus in my life. I believe in You, my God. Please increase my faith and love. Jesus, I trust in You.
FIFTH WEEK OF LENT: My sacrificial Lord, I give myself to You and Your holy will in a total and sacrificial way. I choose to die to self so that You can bring forth new life from this act of selfless surrender. Take me, dear Lord, and do with me as You will. Jesus, I trust in You.
HOLY WEEK: My glorious King, You are worthy of all praise and adoration. Hosanna to You, hosanna in the highest! Draw me into Your glorious passion, dear Lord, and help me to see the glory of Your Cross. As I see its glory, give me the grace I need to share more fully in Your life of transforming sacrificial love. Jesus, I trust in You.
How could a little nick create such a large problem? It was just a little nick in the hot water hose under the sink. But obviously, tiny bouts of drip ... drip ... drip over a long period of time, gone unnoticed, can lead to a lot of standing water.
Such is our spiritual life. Seemingly small, unnoticed flaws, practiced repeatedly, can lead to massive issues in the future. We all know that ignoring an issue, or letting it fester, is only opening the door to welcome a spiritual disaster.
Take charge and take control. Take notice of your impediments. Don't let them get the upper hand.
Talk to a friend. Go to confession. Find a spiritual director. Pray about it.
Take time now to patch or repair all the holes "under your sink" before the floodgates are overflowing.
Almighty Father, you are the good plumber who can put right all of the pipes and fittings of our soul. Help us to see where we need repair, teach us how to fix them, and prevent us from creating our own disasters. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Story
A life's story. Times gone by. The past. Memories.
Amazing where the time went. Wondering how much time is left.
Remembering what you used to be able to do. Realizing what you can no longer do.
It's nice to remember; it makes you smile. Yet it's sad to think about what's already past.
Going through storage areas and cleaning out closets is a daunting and exhilarating task. But it is good to de-clutter and simplify.
Perhaps we now have a little less of "life" and a little more of Hope.
"Also, every grain offering that is baked in an oven or made in a pan or on a griddle shall belong to the priest who offers it" - Leviticus 7:9
A traditional dessert from the northern Italian region of Piedmont, "panna cotta," which is Italian for "cooked cream," is molded sweetened cream thickened with gelatin.
This one is topped with chocolate drizzle and a candle sparkler.
Without a thickener and a mold, it would just be a liquid sauce in a dish. The candle would not be able to stand.
Thankfully, we are like panna cotta. We are thickened by life's events, sweetened by Love, and molded by the Spirit within us that makes our light sparkle for others to see.
Panna cotta is good. God is greater. Thanks be to God.
TAGS: Reflection, Story
we thank you for this past year
with its positive moments and its more difficult ones.
We thank you for the love we have received from family and friends
And for the successes we have had at work and at home.
We thank you also for the hard moments
The moments that we struggled with
the moments of challenge; the moments of uncertainty;
the moments when we have been afraid
for our safety and of those we love;
the moments when we lost those dear to us.
As we look forward to the next year
we ask for Your grace and blessing.
Give us health and strength;
give us faith and hope.
Send us Your Spirit.
Give us peace with the choices we make
Grant us joy as we look ahead and discern the future.
Most of all give us the love that will guide us
through whatever challenges we come across.
Help us to walk beside each other with patience and forgiveness
putting our hands in the hands of Your Son Jesus.
He guides us and strengthens us.
He is always by our side
He gives us hope
He helps us see beyond the small ‘now’
to the bigger picture and the wider dream
The dream imagined for us by You, our Father.
You who live and love
Forever and ever. Amen.
Enjoy this poignant poem entitled "Christmas" by Sir John Betjeman, an English poet who studied under T. S. Eliot and C. S. Lewis. This poem is considered one of the greatest Christmas poems ever written.
The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.
The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
'The church looks nice' on Christmas Day.
Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says 'Merry Christmas to you all'.
And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.
And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children's hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say 'Come!'
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.
And is it true? And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?
And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.
Week 1 (Candle of Hope):
Stir up thy power, O Lord, and come, that by thy protection we may be rescued from the dangers that beset us through our sins, and be a Redeemer to deliver us. Amen.
Week 2 (Candle of Peace):
As we reflect on the Christ child piercing the darkness of this world, we ask God to restore unto us light and peace. Amen.
Week 3 (Candle of Joy):
We beseech thee to listen to our prayers, O Lord, and we trust that our faithful actions can make a difference so that those who sow with tears will reap shouts of joy. Amen.
Week 4 (Candle of Love):
Thank you, God, for the love you give us. We ask that as we wait for all your promises to come true, and for Christ to come again, that you would remain present with us. Help us today, and everyday to worship you, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your love with each other. We cry, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.” Amen.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could get a fresh new layer? A new start? A re-coating of yourself? To be able to strip off the old, scratch up the bad, and patch the holes definitely sounds enticing.
Sure, there could be some initial setbacks. You may "stink" for awhile. You may notice a few "tire tracks." You may even have "sticky shoes" for a bit. But it would be worth it.
Afterwards, you would look clean, you would last longer, and you would repel better. Your relationship with "traffic" would be smoother, safer and more congenial.
Maybe it's time for a change. Look at yourself, and then ask for God's grace to make you more fit for the road ahead.
Holy God, tear off my tattered ways, make all my rough edges smooth, and cover me with your protective coating. May Your grace regenerate, purify, arouse and strengthen me. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
The feast that we know of today as “All Saints Day” originated on 13 May in 609 AD, when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III changed the date to November 1 when he dedicated a chapel at the Vatican in honor of all the saints, and Pope Gregory IV later extended this celebration of all saints, and their relics, to the universal church.
All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It should not be confused with All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven. Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints' Day observances tend to focus on known saints --that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.
We are surrounded by saints – a beautiful reminder they accompany us on our journey of faith. When we pray the Apostles’ Creed, we say, “I believe in…the communion of saints.” The communion of saints is made up of men and women who have placed their hope in Jesus Christ and through Baptism, are his adopted sons and daughters. Before his death, Saint Dominic said, “Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death, and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.”
In a very special way, on the Solemnity of All Saints, not only can we pray to our favorite saints, but we can also call upon our departed brothers and sisters whom we believe are already with God.
Dear God, thank you for the example of the Saints. I desire to join in their company, worshiping you forever in Heaven. Please help me follow their footsteps. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
"And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." - Colossians 3:17
Having a few acorns fall from the oak tree is typical on a nice Fall day. But being bombarded by a barrage of acorns can be painful. You become tempted to wear a helmet outdoors, but you're slightly worried about what the neighbors may think or say about you.
And then there's the sea of acorns in the backyard lawn that need to get raked up. Once in awhile it's okay, but doing this task every day gets old.
How to turn this situation around? Scripture tells us to turn everything into a positive thing, to enjoy work, and to do all for the glory of God. So I guess an attitude adjustment is in order.
Creator God, thank you for blessing us with this Fall season so that we can relish the trees and the fruit of those trees, and glorify You all the more in the time we spend amidst Your glorious splendor. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Story
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."