Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
1 Peter 1:10-16 & Matthew 6:1-18
The season of Lent is the training ground for living in good connection with God, and with others. St. Peter gave Lenten season advice to the readers of his first letter: “Prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you as he is revealed…” So much of the Lenten practices of Fasting, Giving Alms and Praying depends on being able to do what I want to do to align myself with God’s will, and not doing what I don’t want to do, those things that turn me away from God. Like a person preparing to walk the Camino trail, I need true self-discipline during Lent , to help me be constant in my fasting, to continue to give alms of time and talent as well as money, and to be vigorous and tireless in praying. As I trim the fat of my own desires and indulgences and cut away unnecessary appetites, I join my own small ‘sacrifices’ to the passion of Jesus, who gave his life for our sins. As I give of my own substance to those whose needs are so much greater than mine, I join my own small offerings to the great generosity of Christ, who gave his life for our sins. And when I take time to explore the mysteries of prayer and praise, penances and petitions, I join my own clumsy conversations with God to the great communion Jesus had with his Father, as he gave his life for our sins. Will I listen to St. Peter and let the Holy Spirit guide me into the far-reaching depths of true self-discipline this Lent? Holy Spirit, guide me into true self-discipline.
Cerate in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
Grant that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Collect for Ash Wednesday
Soli ad gloriam
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Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.