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.
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.
Hearth Keeper Prayer
Brigid of the Mantle, encompass us, Lady of the Lambs, protect us, Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us. Beneath your mantle, gather us, And restore us to memory. Mothers of our mother, Foremothers strong. Guide our hands in yours, Remind us how to kindle the hearth. To keep it bright, to preserve the flame. Your hands upon ours, Our hands within yours, To kindle the light, Both day and night. The Mantle of Brigid about us, The Memory of Brigid within us, The Protection of Brigid keeping us From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness. This day and night, From dawn till dark, From dark till dawn.
Traditional Catholic Prayer to Saint Brigid
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious, and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Prayer courtesy of here.
Today is St. Brigid’s feast day.
As the coronavirus pandemic that has raged across the world for the last eight months continues with no clear end in sight, massive changes have been wrought in our society. Not least among these has been the complete or partial closure of many churches. Some have suspended services altogether; others have shifted to services streamed over the Internet; and others have provided drive-in services. Many churches have been reopened for public services with restrictions (social distancing and use of masks) since the beginning of June; but many continue broadcasts of services for the benefit of those who prefer not to risk in-person attendance.
This unprecedented situation has been the source of much discussion, much of it political, but some theological. I’m not interested in the political aspects of the situation at all. On the other hand, in a discussion in the comments section of a blog I frequent, a very interesting theological issue came up. This was in the specific context of Catholic services, to wit, the Eucharist at Sunday Mass. The question was this: When the priest says the words of consecration of the bread and wine to make them the Body and Blood of Christ, why would it not be possible for those watching at home to have their own portions of bread and wine, and for the priest to include the bread and wine of all home-bound parishioners in his prayers? Could not everyone then receive Communion, even without having to come to Church?
I saw that God rejoiceth that He is our Father, and God rejoiceth that He is our Mother, and God rejoiceth that He is our Very Spouse and our soul is His loved Wife. And Christ rejoiceth that He is our Brother, and Jesus rejoiceth that He is our Saviour. These are five high joys, as I understand, in which He willeth that we enjoy; Him praising, Him thanking, Him loving, Him endlessly blessing.
–Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c.1393), Ch. 58; courtesy of Wikiquote.
Prayer for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Almighty and everlasting God,
You have taken up body and soul
into the heavenly glory the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Your Son: Grant, we beseech You,
that, ever intent upon heavenly things,
we may be worthy to be partakers of her glory.
Through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever. Amen.
Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin;
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Invisible and visible,
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen
Our joy that hath no end.
–Saint John of Damascenus, in The Congregational Hymn Book: Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1881), p. 219; courtesy of Wikiquote.
All the great groups that stood about the Cross represent in one way or another the great historical truth of the time; that the world could not save itself. Man could do no more. Rome and Jerusalem and Athens and everything else were going down like a sea turned into a slow cataract. Externally indeed the ancient world was still at its strongest; it is always at that moment that the inmost weakness begins. But in order to understand that weakness we must repeat what has been said more than once; that it was not the weakness of a thing originally weak. It was emphatically the strength of the world that was turned to weakness and the wisdom of the world that was turned to folly.
In this story of Good Friday it is the best things in the world that are at their worst. That is what really shows us the world at its worst. It was, for instance, the priests of a true monotheism and the soldiers of an international civilisation. Rome, the legend, founded upon fallen Troy and triumphant over fallen Carthage, had stood for a heroism which was the nearest that any pagan ever came to chivalry. Rome had defended the household gods and the human decencies against the ogres of Africa and the hermaphrodite monstrosities of Greece. But in the lightning flash of this incident, we see great Rome, the imperial republic, going downward under her Lucretian doom. Scepticism has eaten away even the confident sanity of the conquerors of the world. He who is enthroned to say what is justice can only ask:
‘What is truth?’ So in that drama which decided the whole fate of antiquity, one of the central figures is fixed in what seems the reverse of his true role. Rome was almost another name for responsibility. Yet he stands for ever as a sort of rocking statue of the irresponsible. Man could do no more. Even the practical had become the impracticable. Standing between the pillars of his own judgement-seat, a Roman had washed his hands of the world.
Since that day it has never been quite enough to say that God is his heaven and all is right with the world; since the rumour that God had left his heavens to set it right.
—The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton; courtesy of Wikiquote.