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
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.
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
"But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." - Galatians 6:14
Set between a border of stones and green bushes, with a clump of wayward grass growing around it, there stands a single cross in the homeowner's front yard. Probably not meant to be decorative, there is most likely a meaning to its presence: at this time, in this location, for this homeowner. It could merely be a visible sign of a person's faith, a continual reminder of a life lost, a sign of hope, or some other significant meaning in the homeowner's mind and soul.
But with little reservation, there is most likely a meaning to its presence. Casual passersby can only surmise what the meaning could be, whereas the homeowner is fully aware of the reason for the placement of the single cross in their yard.
When Catholics see a cross, we overwhelmingly think about the abundant love of God who chose His Son to suffer and die for our salvation. While this single cross could have one meaning to one person and a different meaning to another person, we have to agree that it is not often that we find a single cross in a person's front yard.
Let us reflect on this single cross, found in an unobtrusive and unlikely location, and the meaning evoked within us when viewing it.
Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us the inconspicuous around us, and giving meaning to our visual enjoyment. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
"The LORD is my strength and my shield ..." - Psalm 28:7
The cross on the side of the road in Tennessee was massive. You certainly couldn't miss it as you drove along the highway. What did it mean? Why was it there?
Perhaps it was to offer protection and guidance. Perhaps it was to make you think. Perhaps it was to make a statement. Perhaps it was to honor Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Perhaps it was to waken weary travelers.
A Google search revealed that this cross "towers over the freeway and shields Christian travelers from its next-door neighbor, a XXX porn store."
So, it was indeed to offer protection and guidance, to make you think, to make a statement, to honor Jesus Christ, and to waken weary travelers as it "sprouted" from the bushes along the road.
In all likelihood, its placement was not a coincidence.
My Loving Savior and Protector, You alone know how to shield and protect me from the evil one, and to waken the weariness within me so as not to go astray. Thank you. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Story
The title above is a slogan often used in the recycling industry. Seems like it could be used in our everyday spiritual life as well.
For those times when you don't know which road to take, way to think, words to say, or thing to do, remember: "when in doubt, throw it out."
You have two choices. Would my thought, word, or deed fit more into the world's "bin," or in God's "bin"? God's "bin" is always the better choice when confronted with a perplexing situation. It is better to be safe than to cause adverse effects by following what others deem to be right.
Just like that plastic bag or plastic cup, without absolute knowledge of right versus wrong, simply make the inconclusive, but seemingly better, decision to follow the path of God and place the situation in His "bin".
God of unfathomable knowledge, lead me to always choose You. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."