Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4

R4C

R4C
Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

What is the Significance of Visiting 7 Churches on Holy Thursday





Why Catholics honour Mary?



Catholics do not worship Mary but we do have enough sense to pay her great honor for saying "yes," and for carrying the Son of God in her womb and supplying His DNA. Not to mention the fact that she gave Him more strength than any other human being. If you truly love Jesus, honoring Mary is a natural part of that love.

Dispel the myth, know the facts, communicate the truth. Every Catholic should be somewhat offended when this lie gets perpetuated as if we don't know our God.

Mary was Immaculately Conceived and had to be by a preemptive act of Grace through Jesus Christ. She had to be a pure vessel to carry the Son of God. In the Scriptures Gabriel says "Hail full of Grace." She is puzzled by the greeting because it indicates that she is without sin.

Please keep in mind that the Church believes that her sinless state comes through Jesus, who existed from the beginning. It doesn't make Mary a god. You cant be a God-bearer with the stain of sin. This Dogma says more about the Glory of God than it does about Mary. The vessel that would be the gate by which Divinity became humanity, had to be a pure one.

She took on flesh, but no stain of sin. He was born of a virgin. Why is it such a large jump to believe that Mary was preserved from sin for this special role? How could God have His DNA supplied by a sinful person? Regardless, the point of this statement is to dispel the lie that we worship Mary.

An Archangel appeared to this woman and she gave birth to God as a virgin. Regardless, she is mega special and worthy of a great honor. If Jesus is Savior and I'm a part of his family, then Mary is my mother. I love her dearly.

~ Father Claude Thomas Burns

Prayer for the Baptism of Aborted Babies


Heavenly Father, Your Love is Eternal. 
In Your Ocean of Love, You saved the world 
through Your Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 
Now look at your Only Son on the Cross 
who is constantly bleeding 
for Love of His people, and forgive Your world. 
Purify and Baptize aborted children 
with the Precious Blood and Water 
from the Sacred Side of Your Son, 
who hung dead on the Cross for their salvation. 
In the Name of the Father, 
and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Spirit. 
May they, through the Holy Death of Jesus Christ 
gain everlasting life, through His Wounds be healed, 
and through His Precious Blood be freed. 
There to rejoice with the Saints in Heaven. 
Amen.

source: FB

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Whoever relaxes one of the commandments




Do you view God's law negatively or positively? Jesus' attitude towards the law of God can be summed up in the great prayer of Psalm 119: "Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day." For the people of Israel the "law" could refer to the ten commandments or to the five Books of Moses, called the Pentateuch, which explain the commandments and ordinances of God for his people. The "law" also referred to the whole teaching or way of life which God gave to his people. The Jews in Jesus' time also used it as a description of the oral or scribal law. Needless to say, the scribes added many more things to the law than God intended. That is why Jesus often condemned the scribal law. It placed burdens on people which God had not intended. Jesus, however, made it very clear that the essence of God's law - his commandments and way of life, must be fulfilled.

Jesus taught reverence for God's law - reverence for God himself, for the Lord's Day, reverence or respect for parents, respect for life, for property, for another person's good name, respect for oneself and for one's neighbor lest wrong or hurtful desires master us. Reverence and respect for God's commandments teach us the way of love - love of God and love of neighbor.

The transforming work of the Holy Spirit 
What is impossible to men and women is possible to God and those who put their faith and trust in God. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the Lord transforms us and makes us like himself. We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) because "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). God gives us the grace to love as he loves, to forgive as he forgives, to think as he thinks, and to act as he acts.

The Lord loves justice and goodness and he hates every form of wickedness and sin. He wants to set us free from our unruly desires and sinful habits, so that we can choose to live each day in the peace, joy, and righteousness of his Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17). To renounce sin is to turn away from what is harmful and destructive for our minds and hearts, and our very lives. As his followers we must love and respect his commandments and hate every form of sin. Do you love and revere the commands of the Lord?

Lord Jesus, grant this day, to direct and sanctify, to rule and govern our hearts and bodies, so that all our thoughts, words and deeds may be according to your Father's law and thus may we be saved and protected through your mighty help.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Please pray for those suffering from cancer ....

Who are fighting a good fight against cancer. Grant them your prayer and support for a complete healing. God works wonder and nothing is beyond His power. He will grant them His miraculous healing touch and may every cancer cell be wiped out by your powerful hands. Amen.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Our Lenten Opportunity


"Christ saved us according to His mercy, 
and renewing through the Holy Spirit."
~ Titus 3:5 ~

Our last Faith Reflection focused on the significant role Lenten sacrifice has in a renewal of our commitment to living our faith. In addition, Lent is also the perfect time to invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts to help us see and accept our opportunities for growth.


Change, even in small aspects of our life, can be a bit intimidating sometimes . . . or seem more like a bother, especially when you’re someone who is already mindful of living your life guided by faith.

Through our devotion to St. Jude, we know he is always ready to receive our prayers for help and our requests for intercession. As the Patron Saint of Hope, he can be the additional strength and support we need to continue to grow in how we live the Gospel.

We have our deep love and commitment to Christ in our hearts and our daily decisions. Part of living our faith is to reflect that love to the outside world, too. It is a way we are able to bring the Word of God to others . . . we share aspects of the Gospel by our example.

Our actions as a reflection of God’s love can be very small and still be extremely meaningful. We can impact many people’s day simply by treating everyone we interact with as people of dignity.

In gratitude for everything St. Jude felt Jesus had given him by inviting him to be one of His Apostles, he committed the rest of his life to sharing the Word of God with people anywhere he could travel. It certainly isn’t practical for most of us to try to follow St. Jude’s particular path, but his passion for Jesus and the Gospel does remind us he is especially aware of the grace we may need to venture a bit out of our comfort zone as we work to grow in our Catholic life.


Ask St. Jude to open our hearts to Lent’s riches for our souls. And through his intercession, ask him to also place your prayers of gratitude before God.


source: Faith Reflection @ http://www.shrineofstjude.org/

Can you drink Christ's cup?




Who or what takes first place in your life? You and what you want to do with your life or God and what he desires for you? When personal goals and ambitions are at odds with God's will, whose will prevails? The prophet Jeremiah spoke a word that was at odds with what the people wanted. The word which Jeremiah spoke was not his personal opinion but the divinely inspired word which God commanded him to speak. Jeremiah met stiff opposition and even threats to his life for speaking God's word. Jeremiah pleaded with God when others plotted to not only silence him but to destroy him as well. Jesus also met stiff opposition from those who opposed his authority to speak and act in God's name. Jesus prophesied that he would be rejected by the religious authorities in Jerusalem and be condemned to death by crucifixion - the most painful and humiliating death the Romans had devised for enemies who opposed their authority.

Jesus called himself the "Son of Man" (Matthew 20:17) - a prophetic title for the Messiah which came from the Book of Daniel. Daniel was given a prophetic vision of a "Son of Man" who is given great authority and power to rule over the earth on behalf of God. But if Jesus is the Messiah and "Son of Man" prophesied by Daniel, why must he be rejected and killed? Did not God promise that his Anointed One would deliver his people from their oppression and establish a kingdom of peace and justice? The prophet Isaiah had foretold that it was God’s will that the "Suffering Servant" who is "God's Chosen One" (Isaiah 42:1) must first make atonement for sins through his suffering and death (Isaiah 53:5-12) and then be raised to establish justice on the earth (Isaiah 42:4). Jesus paid the price for our redemption with his own blood. Jesus' life did not end with death on the cross - he triumphed over the grave when he rose victorious on the third day. If we want to share in the Lord's victory over sin and death then we will need to follow his way of the cross by renouncing my will for his will, and my way for his way of self-sacrificing love and holiness.

Seeking privilege and power
Right after Jesus had prophesied his impending death on the cross, the mother of James and John brought her sons before Jesus privately for a special request. She asked on their behalf for Jesus to grant them a special status among the disciples, namely to be placed in the highest position of privilege and power. Rulers placed their second-in-command at their right and left side. James and John were asking Jesus to place them above their fellow disciples.

Don't we often do the same? We want to get ahead and get the best position where we can be served first. Jesus responds by telling James and John that they do not understand what they are really asking for. The only way one can advance in God's kingdom is by submitting one's whole life in faith and obedience to God. Jesus surrendered his will to the will of his Father - he willingly chose the Father's path to glory - a path that would lead to suffering and death, redemption and new life.

When the other ten disciples heard what James and John had done, they were very resentful and angry. How unfair for James and John to seek first place for themselves. Jesus called the twelve together and showed them the true and rightful purpose for seeking power and position - to serve the good of others with love and righteousness. Authority without love, a love that is oriented towards the good of others, easily becomes self-serving and brutish.

Jesus does the unthinkable - he reverses the order and values of the world's way of thinking. If you want to be great then become a servant for others. If you want to be first, then became a slave rather than a master. How shocking and contradictory these words must have rang in the disciples ears and in our own ears as well! Power and position are tools that can be used to serve and advance one's own interests or to serve the interests of others. In the ancient world servants and slaves had no personal choice - they were compelled to serve the interests of their masters and do whatever they were commanded.

Freedom and servanthood
The model of servanthood which Jesus presents to his disciples is based on personal choice and freedom - the decision to put others first in my care and concern and the freedom to serve them with love and compassion rather than with fear or desire for reward. That is why the Apostle Paul summed up Jesus' teaching on freedom and love with the exhortation, "For freedom Christ has set us free... only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh [for indulging in sinful and selfish desires], but through love be servants of one another" (Galatians 5:1,13). Jesus, the Lord and Master, sets himself as the example. He told his disciples that he "came not to be served but to serve" (Matthew 20:28). True servanthood is neither demeaning nor oppressive because its motivating force is love rather than pride or fear.

The Lord Jesus summed up his mission by telling his disciples that he came "to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). The shedding of his blood on the cross was the payment for our sins - a ransom that sets us free from slavery to wrong and hurtful desires and addictions. Jesus laid down his life for us. This death to self is the key that sets us free to offer our lives as a sacrifice of thanksgiving and love for the Lord and for the people he calls us to serve.

Can you drink my cup? 
The Lord Jesus asks each of us the same question he asked of James and John, "Can you drink the cup that I am to drink"? The cup he had in mind was a cup of sacrificial service and death to self - even death on a cross. What kind of cup might the Lord Jesus have in mind for each one of us who are his followers? For some disciples such a cup will entail physical suffering and the painful struggle of martyrdom - the readiness to die for one's faith in Christ. But for many followers of Jesus Christ, it entails the long routine of the Christian life, with all its daily sacrifices, disappointments, set-backs, struggles, and temptations. A disciple must be ready to lay down his or her life in martyrdom for Christ and be ready to lay it down each and every day in the little and big sacrifices required as well.

An early church father summed up Jesus' teaching with the expression "to serve is to reign with Christ". We share in God’s reign by laying down our lives in humble service of one another as Jesus did for our sake. Are you ready to lay down your life and to serve others as Jesus did?

Lord Jesus, make me a servant of love for your kingdom, that I may seek to serve rather than be served. Inflame my heart with your love that I may give generously and serve others joyfully for your sake.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Your heavenly Father knows what you need




Do you believe that God's word has power to change and transform your life today? Isaiah says that God's word is like the rain and melting snow which makes the barren ground spring to life and become abundantly fertile (Isaiah 55:10-11). God's word has power to penetrate our dry barren hearts and make them springs of new life. If we let God's word take root in our heart it will transform us into the likeness of God himself and empower us to walk in his way of love and holiness.


Let God's word guide and shape the way you judge and act 
God wants his word to guide and shape the way we think, act, and pray. Ambrose (339-397 AD), an early church father and bishop of Milan, wrote that the reason we should devote time for reading Scripture is to hear Christ speak to us. "Are you not occupied with Christ? Why do you not talk with him? By reading the Scriptures, we listen to Christ."

We can approach God our Father with confidence 
We can approach God confidently because he is waiting with arms wide open to receive his prodigal sons and daughters. That is why Jesus gave his disciples the perfect prayer that dares to call God, Our Father. This prayer teaches us how to ask God for the things we really need, the things that matter not only for the present but for eternity as well. We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because the Lord Jesus has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection.

When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, God responds with grace, mercy, and loving-kindness. He is good and forgiving towards us, and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. God has poured his love into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5). And that love is like a refining fire - it purifies and burns away all prejudice, hatred, resentment, vengeance, and bitterness until there is nothing left but goodness and forgiveness towards those who cause us grief or harm.

The Lord's Pray teaches us how to pray 
Consider what John Cassian (360-435 AD), an early church father who lived for several years with the monks in Bethlehem and Egypt before founding a monastery in southern Gaul, wrote about the Lord's Prayer and the necessity of forgiving one another from the heart:


"The mercy of God is beyond description. While he is offering us a model prayer he is teaching us a way of life whereby we can be pleasing in his sight. But that is not all. In this same prayer he gives us an easy method for attracting an indulgent and merciful judgment on our lives. He gives us the possibility of ourselves mitigating the sentence hanging over us and of compelling him to pardon us. What else could he do in the face of our generosity when we ask him to forgive us as we have forgiven our neighbor? If we are faithful in this prayer, each of us will ask forgiveness for our own failings after we have forgiven the sins of those who have sinned against us, not only those who have sinned against our Master. There is, in fact, in some of us a very bad habit. We treat our sins against God, however appalling, with gentle indulgence - but when by contrast it is a matter of sins against us ourselves, albeit very tiny ones, we exact reparation with ruthless severity. Anyone who has not forgiven from the bottom of the heart the brother or sister who has done him wrong will only obtain from this prayer his own condemnation, rather than any mercy."

Do you treat others as you think they deserve to be treated, or do you treat them as the Lord has treated you - with mercy, steadfast love and kindness? 

Father in heaven, you have given me a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Give me today the grace and strength to embrace your holy will and fill my heart and mind with your truth and love that all my intentions and actions may be pleasing to you. Help me to be kind and forgiving towards my neighbor as you have been towards me.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 

hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Lent . . . Sacrifice or Renewal?



"When you search for me, you will find me; 
if you seek me with all your heart." 
~ Jeremiah 29:13 ~

We nurture our relationship with God as we live our faith. We know our connection with Him gives us the grace to grow through the easy days and the challenging days. The beauty of nurturing—of really investing in—our relationship with God is that all the benefits of that investment on our part come back to bless us! It’s really kind of a sweet deal.

Lent provides us with a reminder and plenty of weeks to put a unique focus on strengthening our faith in preparation for Easter. Sacrifice is a common element of our strengthening process during Lent; it’s meant to help remind us on a daily, or at least a weekly, basis that we need to examine and enrich and improve our commitment to living our faith.

Our sacrifices can be favorite things we decide to do without during Lent—such as a certain television show every week or desserts every evening. Our sacrifices can also include new things we chose to do—like saving a certain amount each week to make a special donation to a local charity, or adding an extra rosary or a visit to Church every week. Either way (or even both approaches!), we commit to an extra effort to be mindful of just how central our love of God is to our life.

This increased discipline of sacrifice throughout Lent often begins on a physical level; through earnest reflection and prayer we actually arrive at Holy Week spiritually energized. We may have found a thing or two we could improve on in how we live our faith. But at the end of Lent we hopefully have also found a renewed conversation with God and a renewed peace within ourselves—the peace that comes from knowing, truly knowing, He is always with us.


source: Faith Reflection @ http://www.shrineofstjude.org/

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ash Wednesday ~ 2017



Reflection

One of my dearest friends used to have a sign on the outside of his office door. It read, “O Lord, make me interruptible.” It was an act of hospitality, of course, but also a sincere prayer. I’ve tried to imitate this, but the fact is, I don’t like interruptions. I don’t like having my very important train of thought derailed, my time taken in an unplanned way by God-knows-what. 

Then I think of St. Benedict saying, “Let every guest be received as Christ himself.” Even the rudest, most untimely interruption could be a visit from no less than the Savior himself.

Lent is an interruption. It starts, for heaven’s sake, on a Wednesday. It tears a work week in half. This is not convenient timing for us, if God wants our attention. We’re busy people, and we’re doing good things.

But the interruption of Ash Wednesday is about as intentional as it can be. Today it is not business as usual. A lot is at stake. Whatever we cling to tightly, whatever tethers us or binds us or weighs us down from the true freedom for which we were made—today we want to at least begin to loosen our grasp, and give it back to its rightful owner.

Today is a day to be interrupted by God’s news, God’s good news, God’s promise to heal and transform. We mark ourselves with the blackness of the earth itself, a humbling reminder that our best intentions, our best resolutions, our best efforts have too often crumbled to dust in the ways we allow ourselves to be pulled in other directions. 

We don’t do any of these things to be noticed. Jesus gives us a more than adequate warning against religious showmanship. We do Ash Wednesday not to look good, but because God wants to make us become good. The purpose is the heart, or Lent has no purpose at all.

We have a compass, a direction for our 40-day walk in the desert, and it points to Easter. Where do want to be, as Christians, as people, come Easter? We want to be ready, of course. But readiness is not as simple as how hard or long we pray, how severely we fast or how many things we give up, how much money we give to charity or how many hours of service we do. It is really about how deeply we can yield to what God wants to do with us, in us, through us. 

If we’re not careful, our Lenten activity and religious practices can reinforce our sense of control, when the invitation is always to give up control and trust God alone. In other words, to allow God to be God for us.

“Now is the acceptable time,” says St. Paul. “Now is the day of salvation!” The interruption of Ash Wednesday cracks us open. Through that crack, how deep will we allow God to go in us this Lent?

O Lord, make us interruptible.

by: Father Michael Connors, CSC, ’83 M.Div.
Director, John S. Marten Program in Homiletics
Associate Professional Specialist, Theology

source: Faith ND, University of Notre Dame


Ash Wednesday

Reading 1
Joel 2:12-18
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?'"

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14, 17
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading 2
2 Corinthians 5:20 - 6:2
Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Verse Before The Gospel
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.


Gospel
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

When you pray, fast, and give alms




Are you hungry for God and do you thirst for his holiness? God wants to set our hearts ablaze with the fire of his Holy Spirit that we may share in his holiness and radiate the joy of the gospel to those around us. St. Augustine of Hippo tells us that there are two kinds of people and two kinds of love: "One is holy, the other is selfish. One is subject to God; the other endeavors to equal Him." We are what we love. God wants to free our hearts from all that would keep us captive to selfishness and sin. "Rend your hearts and not your garments" says the prophet Joel (Joel 2:12). The Holy Spirit is ever ready to transform our hearts and to lead us further in God's way of truth and holiness.

Why did Jesus single out prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for his disciples? The Jews considered these three as the cardinal works of the religious life. These were seen as the key signs of a pious person, the three great pillars on which the good life was based. Jesus pointed to the heart of the matter. Why do you pray, fast, and give alms? To draw attention to yourself so that others may notice and think highly of you? Or to give glory to God? The Lord warns his disciples of self-seeking glory - the preoccupation with looking good and seeking praise from others. True piety is something more than feeling good or looking holy. True piety is loving devotion to God. It is an attitude of awe, reverence, worship and obedience. It is a gift and working of the Holy Spirit that enables us to devote our lives to God with a holy desire to please him in all things (Isaiah 11:1-2).

What is the sure reward which Jesus points out to his disciples? It is communion with God our Father. In him alone we find the fulness of life, happiness, and truth. May the prayer of Augustine of Hippo, recorded in his Confessions, be our prayer this Lent: When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrows or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete. The Lord wants to renew us each day and give us new hearts of love and compassion. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Seek him expectantly in prayer, with fasting, and in generous giving to those in need.

The forty days of Lent is the annual retreat of the people of God in imitation of Jesus' forty days in the wilderness. Forty is a significant number in the scriptures. Moses went to the mountain to seek the face of God for forty days in prayer and fasting. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years in preparation for their entry into the promised land. Elijah fasted for forty days as he journeyed in the wilderness to the mountain of God. We are called to journey with the Lord in a special season of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and penitence as we prepare to celebrate the feast of Easter, the Christian Passover. The Lord gives us spiritual food and supernatural strength to seek his face and to prepare ourselves for spiritual combat and testing. We, too, must follow in the way of the cross in order to share in the victory of Christ's death and resurrection. As we begin this holy season of testing and preparation, let's ask the Lord for a fresh outpouring of his Holy Spirit that we may grow in faith, hope, and love and embrace his will more fully in our lives.

Lord Jesus, give me a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, and a great love of you. Take from me all lukewarmness in the meditation of your word, and dullness in prayer. Give me fervor and delight in thinking of you and your grace, and fill me with compassion for others, especially those in need, that I may respond with generosity.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East