Days of Prayer & Meditation

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1 40 Days of Prayer & Meditation WEEK FOUR March 3rd - March 9th, 2016

2 Thursday, March 3, 2016 We implore your majesty most humbly, O Lord, that, as the feast of our salvation draws ever closer, so we may press forward more eagerly towards the worthy celebration of Resurrection Sunday. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Jeremiah 7:23-28 Daily Meditation: May our love grow each day. We are at the half-way point in our Lenten journey today. There is so much yet to learn, to examine, to heal, to renew. We have a sense of the patterns we are naming and a sense of the graces we are asking for, as well as the ways God is working in us. We want to be ready and our Lord wants us to be confident. So we keep asking and we keep giving thanks, throughout our day. I am the Savior of all people, says the Lord. Whatever their troubles, I will answer their cry, and I will always be their Lord. Christ our Lord came among us as the light of the world, that we might walk in his light, and not in the darkness of death. Let us praise him and cry out to him: Let your word be a lamp to guide us. God of mercy, help us today to grow in your likeness, that we who sinned in Adam may rise again in Christ. Let your word be a lamp to guide us, that we may live the truth and grow always in your love. Teach us to be faithful in seeking the common good for your sake, that your light may shine on the whole human family by means of your Church. Touch our hearts to seek your friendship more and more, and to make amends for our sins against your wisdom and goodness. Closing Prayer Loving God, I hear your invitation, Come back to me and I am filled with such a longing to return to you. Show me the way to return. Lead me this day in good works I do in your name and send your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith. I ask only to feel your love in my life today.

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4 Friday, March 4, 2016 Pour your grace into our hearts, we pray, O Lord, that we may be constantly drawn away from unruly desires and obey by your own gift the heavenly teaching you give us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Hosea 14:2-10 Daily Meditation: Fill our hearts with your love. Our lesson today reminds us again of God s love and Jesus desire that we love one another as we are loved. On this journey, we are learning why this is a challenge for us. We are experiencing our human weaknesses and practicing ways to be freer, to open our hearts more fully to God s love and to give ourselves in fidelity, every day. You ask us to express our thanks by self-denial. We are to master our sinfulness and conquer our pride. We are to show to those in need your goodness to ourselves. Thanks be to Christ the Lord, who brought us life by his death on the cross. With our whole heart let us ask him: By your death raise us to life. Teacher and Savior, you have shown us your fidelity and made us a new creation by your passion, keep us from falling again into sin. Help us to deny ourselves today, and not deny those in need. May we receive this day of penance as your gift, and give it back to you through works of mercy. Master our rebellious hearts, and teach us generosity. Closing Prayer God of Mercy, I feel my heart overflowing with your tenderness. I sense your loving touch deep within my soul. I ask for your help in my weakness that I might be faithful to your word and I am so grateful that your mercy for my failings is as strong as your unbounded love for me.

5 Saturday, March 5, 2016 Rejoicing in this annual celebration of our Lenten observance, we pray, O Lord, that, with our hearts set on the paschal mysteries, we may be gladdened by their full effects. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Hosea 6:1-6; Luke 18:9-14 Daily Meditation: Bring us to the full joy of Easter. This is the last day of the first part of Lent. Our reading in Luke 18:9-14 is a powerful lesson. The one person praying in the temple is proud of his spiritual accomplishments. The other person is deeply humble before God, and goes home having really named the graces desired. Through our daily practices, we are placed with Jesus in suffering, in growing surrender to the deaths of our life, and in anticipation of the full joy of Easter. Keep me from any deadly sin. Only you can save me! Then I will shout and sing about your power to save. ~ Psalm 51:14 To make us his new creation, Christ the Lord gave us the waters of rebirth and spread the table of his body and his word. Let us call upon him and say: Lord, renew us in your grace. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, clothe us with compassion, kindness and humility, make us want to be patient with everyone. Teach us to be true neighbors to all in trouble and distress, and so imitate you, the Good Samaritan. Closing Prayer God of Mercy and Understanding, I know that with help I can open my heart more fully to the mysteries of the suffering and death of your son. Help me to be humble in this journey and remember that any mercy and compassion I feel is a gift from you. I await the joy of Easter with new longing and patience.

6 Sunday, March 6, 2016 O God, who through your word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Joshua 5: 9a, 10-12; 2 Corinthians: 5: 7-21 Daily Meditation: Be joyful! This Sunday has a joy-filled tone. We enter into the second part of Lent with a spirit of eagerness. Our celebration of the mercy and life given to us in Jesus is near. We have been saved by our Lord, Jesus, the Christ. That is consoling at this part of Lent. It is not the work we do that saves us. It is God s love - in the midst of our darkness. We can ask to be lifted up with Jesus in his surrender with the Father: lifted up on the cross and therefore, lifted up in Glory. And, we can express our desire to be an instrument of his healing love, in the hearts of those to whom he sends us. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you! Let us give glory to God, whose kindess knows no limit. Through Jesus Christ, who lives for ever to intercede for us, let us pray: Kindle in our hearts the fire of your love. God of mercy, let today be a day rich in good works, a day of generosity to all we meet. From the waters of the flood you saved Noah through the ark, from the waters of baptism raise up to new life those under instruction. May we live not by bread only, but by every word falling from your lips. Help us to do away with all dissension, so that we may rejoice in your gifts of peace and love. Closing Prayer Loving Father of mine, I feel the pace quicken, the time draw near. I am filled with joy as I move toward Easter and the promised reconcilation with you. Teach me to follow the example of your Son, to be worthy of being called one his people: a Christian. Help me to live each day as he did turning hatred to love and conflict to peace. I await the new life with eagerness, faith and a deep gratitude.

7 Monday, March 7, 2016 O God, who renew the world through mysteries beyond all telling, grant, we pray, that your Church may be guided by your eternal design and not be deprived of your help in this present age. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30; John 4:43-54 Daily Meditation: You give us new life. In the Gospel according to John before we enter into the controversy and the sense of being in a court room, we have a wonderful story of a healing. In this gospel, the acts of power that Jesus works are the signs that help us see who he is. We are reminded that he is the one who will give us new life. Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth. ~ Isaiah 65:17 Blessed be God the Father for his gift of this sacrifice of praise. In the spirit of this Lenten season, let us pray: Instruct us, Lord, in the ways of your kingdom. God of power and mercy, give us the spirit of prayer and repentance, with burning love for you and for all mankind. Help us to work with you in making all things new in Christ, and in spreading justice and peace throughout the world. Teach us the meaning and value of creation, so that we may join its voice to ours as we sing your praise. Forgive us for failing to see Christ in the poor, the distressed and the troublesome and for our failure to reverence your Son in their persons. Closing Prayer God who created me, You offer me new life through your Son and through the gift of your sacraments. While I see new life all around me, I don t always recognize the new life you offer me. Help me to grow this Lent in an awareness of the gifts you place in my life and in a greater appreciation for your care. Give me the courage to ask for help.

8 Tuesday, March 8, 2016 May the venerable exercises of holy devotion shape the hearts of your faithful, O Lord, to welcome worthily Resurrection Sunday and proclaim the praises of your salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Psalm 46; John 5:1-16 Daily Meditation: Our embrace leads to praise. The forces that are opposed in the gospel have everything to do with the forces at work in our hearts. He is clearly about to embrace his passage - his passover - from death to life. This resurrection mystery is what we are preparing to celebrate. As we grow in love and compassion for what Jesus is facing for us, we ask to be prepared to embrace his way, his path, the pattern of his dying and rising. We ask that we would be prepared to proclaim this gift to others, with great joy. It was because Jesus did things such as this on the Sabbath that they began to persecute him. For me. Come to the waters, all who thirst; though you have no money, come and drink with joy. ~ Isaiah 55:1. God the Father has given us his only Son, the Word made human, to be our food and our life. Let us thank him and pray: May the word of Christ dwell among us in all its richness. Help us this Lenten season to listen more frequently to your word, that we may celebrate the solemnity of Easter with greater love for Christ, our paschal sacrifice. May your Holy Spirit be our teacher, that we may encourage those in doubt and error to follow what is true and good. Enable us to enter more deeply into the mystery of your Anointed One, that our lives may reveal him more effectively. Purify and renew your Church in this time of salvation, that it may give an ever greater witness to you.

9 Closing Prayer Joyful praise in Lent? I m not sure I always feel that. I ask you to help me prepare to understand and embrace the resurrection mystery in my life. I don t always see the beauty and mystery of this season and often I run from the pain. Help me to see how your saving grace and your loving touch in my life can fill me with joyful praise of the salvation you have sent to me.

10 Wednesday, March 9, 2016 O God, who reward the merits of the just and offer pardon to sinners who do penance, have mercy, we pray, on those who call upon you, that the admission of our guilt may serve to obtain your pardon for our sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalm 145; John 5:17-30 Daily Meditation: Grant us your forgiveness. We know that this whole journey is about our reconciliation. We know that God wants to forgive us. We know we are preparing to renew our Baptismal promises, and refuse to be mastered by sin. Today we hear the invitation and ask more earnestly. In the marvelous discourse that follows his sign of healing, Jesus says, I am not seeking my own will but the will of him who sent me. I am filled with a sense of sorrow and gratitude, as I see what he did for me. I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life and will never be condemned. They have already gone from death to life. ~ John 5-24 Let us give thanks to God, our Father: through the power of the Spirit he purifies our heart and strengthens us in love. Let us humbly ask him: Lord, give us your Holy Spirit. Help us to receive good things from your bounty with a deep sense of gratitude; and to accept with patience the evil that comes to us. Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments, but above all in the ordinary events of daily life. May we abstain from what we do not really need, and help our brothers and sisters in distress. May we bear the wounds of your Son, for through his body he gave us life.

11 Closing Prayer Loving and merciful God, I am so aware of my sins and weaknesses. But as painfully aware of my faults as I am, Let me also remember your tender love, your gentle and limitless forgiveness. I come before you filled with pain and guilt but look into your eyes and see the forgiving love I so long for in my life. Help me to forgive the same way. Teach me to love as you love.

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