SPIRITUAL READING FOR LENTEN RETREAT
LISTEN TO THE WORDS OF THE MASTER
“Listen carefully, my son and daughter, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is the advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.” St Benedict Prologue
THE QUESTIONS OF JESUS ARE PERSONAL TO EACH ONE OF US
“The next day John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them “What do you seek?” and they said to him “Rabbi” (which means teacher) “where are you staying?”. He said to them “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day.” John 1:35-40
GOOD MASTER WHAT MUST I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?
MOVING FROM BEING GOOD TO BEING GOD.
“God became man in order that man could become God.”
“Love and do what you will.”
"He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, 'Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your Father and Mother.' And he said to him 'Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.' Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, 'There is one thing that you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come and follow me.' But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth." Mark 10: 17-22
Seeking the God who is already looking for me.
See Thomas Merton Prayer:
notes Monday PM
“I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me; it was not I that found, O Saviour true; no, I was found by you”
When the desire of our heart, discovers the love of our lives; joy becomes a reality not an idea, it is given to us so we may live our ordinary lives in the most extraordinary way.
COMMITMENT & FIDELITY
The past is History – Tomorrow is a Mystery- Today is a Gift. That’s why it’s called the present!
“The finding of God and the finding of self is the same event”
“Lord for tomorrow and its needs I do not prayer, keep me guide me love me Lord, just for today”
The key to self-knowledge is the daily examination of conscience at the end of the day. It is a spiritual tool for sizing up your days — and facing the events of our lives as they really are. Like all truth if we embrace it sets us free!
“Should all the saints and angels in heaven join with all the members of the church on earth, both religious and lay, at every degree of Christian holiness and pray for my growth in humility. I am certain it would not profit me as much, nor bring me to the perfection of this virtue as quickly as a little self-knowledge. Indeed, it is altogether impossible to arrive at perfect humility without it. And therefore, do not shrink from the seat and toil involved in gaining real self-knowledge, for I am sure that when you have acquired it you will very soon come to an experiential knowledge of God’s goodness and love” Cloud of Unknowing
The radical message of the Christian Good News. Christ final message of love for his people. “Father forgive them they know not what they do”
“How happy I am to feel myself imperfect and to have such need of God’s mercy. It is wonderful to feel oneself weak, and small. I am glad always to finds myself imperfect; indeed, there lies my greatest joy…”
St Teresa of Lisieux
The power of prayer is that it changes me not God. In prayer I seek to be open to seek and do Gods will in my life. In prayer lie Our Lady “I ponder and treasure” Gods Holy Word.
Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
THE PERSONAL VOCATION
My personal vocation is my unique relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. My vocation is my spiritual fingerprints and DNA
“God has created me for SOME DEFINITE SERVICE; He has committed some work to me he has committed to no other. I have my mission… Somehow, I am necessary for his purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel is in his. I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work.. if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.” St John Henry Newman
The source of renewal in our lives, the Church and the world.
“Be perfect as you heavenly Father is perfect”
Perfection in life is becoming what God has created me to be by the daily free choices I make in my life.
“My God I have no desire for great holiness, perhaps I even have a dread of it; but in your mercy you can change me, Give me the courage, and detach me, yourself from the things of this world, which fill my heart and keep me from loving you. You know what means to take so as to win my heart, these means are in your hands, and you are the master. Holiness frightens me; you alone can cure me of this false and foolish fear and make all easy for me that seems so difficult. You alone can do this.” St Claude de la Colombiere
EVER ANCIENT EVER NEW
No not be afraid that the message of the Gospel is dying out. Our faith is ever ancient, the testimony to the life of Jesus Christ, and it is ever new, as it has the power to speak to the people of every age who will open their hearts to receive this truth, and this this truth will set us free.
OFFER IT UP
What do we do about the things we cannot change? The event of life either make us bitter or better. We may become better by offering up our suffering in reparation for the needs of others. The alternative is the bitterness that eats at that can us over and lead to a hardness of heart
Francesco one of the children of Fatime sais “I am thinking about God, who is so sad because of so many sins! If only I could give Him joy!” Reparation is nothing but an act of love. Francisco lives it this way, he wishes to be the comforter of God: not as an imposition but as a free act of love, from someone who wants to give joy to the one who loves and by whom he feels unconditionally loved. Like St Paul he can say
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church." - St. Paul (Colossians 1:24)
CONSECRATION AND DEDICATION
The Morning Offering
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of my family and friends and all in most need of your mercy, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. Amen
Consecration is what we receive, dedication is what we give. To be consecrated is to freely accept the love of God for ourselves and our country allowing this gracious offer of unconditional love, to reside at the very heart of the person and the country. Dedication embraces that love, draws it from the heart, and let’s it shape our lives, and our communities, as we put this love into action.
JOY – THE MESSAGE OF WALSINGHAM
Our Lady invites us to “Share her Joy in the Annunciation” when the “Word became flesh and lived among us” for all who come to this place to embrace this message “will find help in their need”
We can’t always be happy, but we can always have joy in our hearts!
Joy is to happiness, what the deep sea is to a puddle. Happiness, like puddles dry up quickly. Happiness is often temporary and mostly dependant on our choices, feelings and events. Joy is like the deep sea, ever present, it comes as a consequence of accepting a gift given, and this gift never dries up. It is a form of companionship, an inner strength, that gives comfort; it is a presence, that is gentle; and as I journey through life it is the reassurance I am never alone, I rejoice, for I have accepted, and taken to heart that which will never leave me.
IN ALL THINGS LOVE
He who strips a man of his clothes is to be called a thief. Is not he who, when he is able, fails to clothe the naked, worthy of no other title? The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot, the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit. St Basil