Thursday after Ash Wednesday

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“The Son of man must suffer many things[…]”

What must we do in life?  As the old saying goes, “There are only three things you must do in life: be born, die, and pay taxes.”  I don’t think anyone actually lives like that though.   We all have hopes, desires, expectations, plans, responsibilities, schedules, etc.  The most needful things are the ones we have or feel like we have control over and that affect our happiness.  If something affects our happiness negatively – not just our feeling of joy or contentment – and we have no control over it we should probably reexamine why it seems so important. read more

Ash Wednesday

Hide yourself today under the banner of ash that will cover your foolish head.  Look into your soul to see if you have made space for your Maker.  Have you not rather focused on your flesh and all that is passing away?  Have you not nearly allowed the eternal spark He has place within you to be extinguished?  Stand today to receive the mark of penance and multiply your unseen acts of prayer and fasting.  Fan into flame the smoldering wick of your heart with acts of repentance and sorrow over a life spent so selfishly and pridefully.  Will not God respond to your humility and contrition with an abundance of mercy and love? read more

Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Contemplative prayer may seem like a lofty spirituality accessible only to an enlightened minority, but it is the only way we can truly respond to St. James’ exhortation to joy in the midst of trials.  Contemplative prayer is no more complicated than breathing or gazing upon someone we love.  Contemplative prayer is difficult only when we are unacquainted with obscurity and expect or prefer something obvious.

The Word of God, though extremely nourishing for our faith, still obliges us at some level to plunge into obscurity.  The only obvious thing that can directly and immediately develop our faith is the suffering due to trials.  We don’t need to go out looking for trials, they are already present in our daily lives:  I can experience my life, my habits, my sins as a burden;  I can also experience other people as a burden: responsibility, injustice, rudeness. read more