Useful links for Lent Reflections

Preparing for Lent

How quickly time flies! Lent will be here in 10 days. What will you offer to the Lord this Lent?

Here are useful links to websites with lent reflections:

Prayer to St Anthony

O wonderful St. Anthony, glorious on account of the fame of your miracles, and through the condescension of Jesus in coming in the form of a little child to rest in your arms, obtain for me of His bounty the grace which I ardently desire from the depths of my heart: (State your intention).

You who were so compassionate toward miserable sinners, regard not the unworthiness of those who pray to you, but the glory of God that it may once again be magnified by the granting of the particular request (State your intention).  which I now ask for with persevering earnestness. Amen.

Pray one Our Father,
one Hail Mary, and
Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.

Saint Anthony, pray for us!

[Prayer from https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/novena/anthony.htm%5D

Act of entrustment to Mary

by Pope Francis

Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima,
with renewed gratitude for your motherly presence
we join in the voice of all generations that call you blessed.

We celebrate in you the great works of God,
who never tires of lowering himself in mercy over humanity,
afflicted by evil and wounded by sin,
to heal and to save it.

Accept with the benevolence of a Mother
this act of entrustment that we make in faith today,
before this your image, beloved to us.

We are certain that each one of us is precious in your eyes
and that nothing in our hearts has estranged you.

May that we allow your sweet gaze
to reach us and the perpetual warmth of your smile.

Guard our life with your embrace:
bless and strengthen every desire for good;
give new life and nourishment to faith;
sustain and enlighten hope;
awaken and animate charity;
guide us all on the path to holiness.

Teach us your own special love for the little and the poor,
for the excluded and the suffering,
for sinners and the wounded of heart:
gather all people under you protection
and give us all to your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus.

Amen.

[From http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/prayers/documents/papa-francesco_preghiere_20131013_affidamento-vergine-fatima.html]

Prayer of surrender

By St Ignatius of Loyola

Receive, Lord, my entire freedom.

Accept the whole of my memory,
my intellect and my will.

Whatever I have or possess,
it was you who gave it to me;
I restore it to you in full,
and I surrender it completely
to the guidance of your will.

Give me only love of you
together with your grace,
and I am rich enough
and ask for nothing more.

Amen

Confessions – by St. Augustine

Notes from the book

Update: 20 Nov 2016 

Book 3, #8

“So it is by the path of meekness and devotion that we must return to you. You rid us of our evil habits and forgive our sins when we confess to you. You listen to the groans of the prisoners and free us from the chains which we have forged for ourselves.” 

Book 3, #9

“None can doubt that the command must be obeyed, even though, for the time being, you may conceal the reason for it and it may conflict with the established rule of custom in some forms of society; for no society is right and good unless it obeys you. 

But happy are they who know that the commandment was yours. For all that your servant do is done as an example of what is needed for the present or as a sign if what is yet to come.” 

Book 3, #11

“But you sent down your help from above, and rescued my soul from the depths of this darkness because my mother, your faithful servant, wept to you fot me… you listened to the prayer of her heart… For your goodness is almighty; you take good care of each of us as if you had no others in your care, and you look after all as you look after each….

…the joy for which this devout woman had still so long to wait was foretold so long before to comfort her in the time of her distress. For nearly nine years were yet to come during which I wallowed deep in the mire and the darkness of delusion… Yet all this time this chaste, devout, and prudent woman, a widow such as is close to your heart, never ceased to pray at all hours and to offer you the tears she shed for me.” 

Update: 15 Nov 2016

Book 1, #20 

“But they were all gifts from God… His gifts are good and the sum of them all is my own self…all the good in me is his. I thank him and praise him for all the good in my life… My God, in whom is my delight, my glory, and my trust, I thank you for your gifts and beg you to preserve and keep them for me. Keep me, too, and so your gifts will grow and reach perfection and I shall be with you myself, for I should not even exist if it were not by your gift.” 

This line really struck me: “His gifts are good and the sum of them all is my own self.” I never really thought of myself in that way – as a sum of gifts from God, as a sum of God’s goodness. It made me smile. It shifted my perception of self from focusing on what I am not good at, to embracing the goodness God has given me and made me to be. I keep using the words “in awe”, but are there other words to possibly describe what I am feeling? I am in awe of how good God is. That He gifted me with goodness and created me in His likeness. 

I have to hold on to this reminder that God is good and God is with me. Perhaps then I will remember that everyday is a gift to give freely to others as I have been given freely: love, joy and encouragement for each new day. 

Update: 14 Nov 2016

As I continue reading more and more of St Augustine’s writings, I am awestruck by his honest and intuitive self-reflection. He writes to God quite plainly yet with beautiful description, not to hide the truth under flair but as an eloquent mind would, keen to know everything yet humbly discovers he knows nothing, finding himself rambling like a wide-eyed child before the One whom He has been searching for – God the Father.

And the more I read, my heart aches… because I have not yet grasped courage to completely let go control of my life to God as St Augustine did. 

Today I read the following passage on the prodigal son. This is how great and good our God is! That He loves us even when we walk away, and loves us still more when we come home with nothing. 

Book 1, #18

“This very day you are ready to rescue from this fearsome abyss any soul that searches for you, any man who says from the depths of his heart, I have eyes only for you; I long, Lord, for your presence; for the soul that is blinded by wicked passions is far from you and cannot see your face.”

Book 1, #15

13 Nov 2016

“Grant my prayer, O Lord, and do not allow my soul to wilt under the discipline which you prescribe. Let me not tire of thanking you for your mercy in rescuing me from all my wicked ways, so that you may be sweeter to me than all the joys which used to tempt me; so that I may love you most intently and clasp your hand with all the power of my devotion; so that you may save me from all temptation until the end of my days.

You, O Lord, are my King and my God, and in your service I want to use whatever good I learned, …I can speak and write, read and count, and I want these things to be used to serve you…”

Morning prayer

St Patrick

I arise today through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock.

I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me; God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me,  God’s shield to protect me, God’s hosts to save me far and near, alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today, against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today through the mighty strength of the Lord of creation.