The Lenten Blessing — A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless you with Discomfort…
at easy answers,
half–truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with Anger…
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people
so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with Tears…
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness…
to believe that you can make a difference in their world, so that you
can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.
–St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, in The Parish Newsletter of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (April 2014); courtesy of Wikiquote
Today is the first Friday of Lent. After what seems to have been an entire year of Lent, may this penitential season be beneficial to us.
Lenten fasting is not the same thing in those lands where people eat well as is a Lent among our third-world peoples, undernourished as they are, living in a perpetual Lent, always fasting….
Let us observe our Lent thus, giving our sufferings, our bloodshed, our sorrow the same value that Christ gave to his own condition of poverty, oppression, abandonment, and injustice. Let us change all that into the cross of salvation that redeems the world and our people. And with hatred for none, let us be converted and share both joys and material aids, in our poverty, with those who may be even needier.
–Óscar A. Romero, in Let Us Be Today’s Christians”: The Words of Óscar Romero (2 MARCH1980); courtesy of Wikiquote.
Carnival–better known to Americans as “Mardi Gras”–is the Tuesday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. This year it falls on February 17th–next Tuesday. In the meantime, enjoy some season appropriate music!
A person of high virtue is not conscious of virtue and therefore possesses Virtue.A person of little virtue tries to be virtuous and therefore lacks Virtue.A person of high virtue does not make a fuss and is not seen.A person of little virtue always makes a fuss and is always seen.A truly good person functions without ulterior motive.A moralist acts out of private desires.A ritualist acts and, when no one responds, rolls up a sleeve and marches.When we lose the Tao, we turn to Virtue.When we lose Virtue, we turn to kindness.When we lose kindness, we turn to morality. When we lose morality, we turn to ritual.Ritual is the mere husk of good faith and loyalty and the beginning of disorder.Knowledge of what is to come may be a flower of the Tao, but it is the beginning of folly.Hence, the well-formed person relies on what is solid and not on what is flimsy,on the fruit and not the flower.Therefore, such a person lets go of that without and is content with this within.
–Laozi, Dao De Qing (Tao Te Ching), chapter 38; courtesy of here.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the true Light
enlightening every soul born into this world.
Today we celebrate the feast of Candlemas.
Before Holy Mass,
the priest blesses the candles,
whose wax is the humming summer’s work of countless bees.
The flames of these candles
will shed their light upon the altar at the Holy Sacrifice.
Help us to realize,
this day and every day,
that our own humdrum daily work,
if it is done for love of You,
and in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
will be a supernatural work,
and will shine brightly before You for all eternity.
Help us realize, too,
each time we see the blessed candles at Holy Mass,
or at the bedside of the sick,
that they are a symbol of Yourself,
the Light shining in the darkness of this world.
Help us to live in that Light,
to make it our own,
and to kindle it in the souls of others,
increasing the area Of light
and lessening the darkness in the World This,
dear Lord, help us do,
through the merits of Your own dear mother, Mary,
who did everything for love of
You, from the moment she brought You into this world
till the day she joined You in the realms of light at her death.
Then we, too, working for You,
shall be light-bearers who will help to spread Your kingdom on earth,
and increase the number of those who dwell in heaven,
the city of eternal light.
Courtesy of here.
Today is the Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas.