Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 6

crucificionicon12Day35 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/6/09

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 1-4

Day 35 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (1-11)

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Dismiss All Other Loves!

Red draped the Crucifix as it proceeded amidst waving palm branches – blood red! Shouts of “Hail and hosanna” would soon change to “Crucify!” It is so brief a time to reign and be acknowledged as the Holy One of God.  Our homilist, Fr. Michael De Palma asked what happened? For the Church, not many weeks ago, we were gazing on the face of the Christ Child.  Angels sang and Wise Men bowed low. We sang:

Sacred Infant, all Divine,

What a tender love was Thine;

Thus to come from highest bliss

Down to such a world as this !

Teach, oh, teach us, Holy Child,

By Thy face so meek and mild.

Teach us to resemble Thee,

In Thy sweet humility !

What happened?  Have we, too, dismissed Him?  He reigns on our calendars, but what about our hearts? What other loves have replaced Him in our day to day?  Can we bear to look upon His disfigured Face?  Can we “Behold the Man?.”

Father Michael invited us to live this week differently from all others, to banish all other loves and gaze upon one bruised and bloodied Face.  Angels trembled at what we had done to the Son of God.  They trembled, too, at what He accomplished on that Cross for me and you.

We will soon sing with the Church around the world:

O Sacred Head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze

I see thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.

(Words Henry Williams Baker after Bernard of Clairvaux)

One Holy Week remains of Lent.  We are invited to walk these days with our Lord to Calvary.  Without the Cross there is no Resurrection, no Easter glory.  With Christ we, too, can rise again to new Life

“When He is King we will give Him the Kings’ gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown…

When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,
Myrrh for embalming and wood for a crown..

Bethlehem Down – words by Bruce Blunt

Happier Than the Blessed Mother?

From Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux:

Speaking of that Blessed Mother, I must tell you of one of my
simple ways. Sometimes I find myself saying to her: “Dearest
Mother, it seems to me that I am happier than you. I have you for my Mother, and you have no Blessed Virgin to love. . . . It is
true, you are the Mother of Jesus, but you have given Him to me; and He, from the Cross, has given you to be our Mother–thus we are richer than you! Long ago, in your humility, you wished to become the little handmaid of the Mother of God; and I–poor little creature–am not your handmaid but your child! You are the Mother of Jesus, and you are also _mine!”_

Making the Ordinary Holy

From Story of a Soul by St.Therese of Lisieux:

Questioned as to her method of sanctifying meals, she answered:

"In the refectory we have but one thing to do: perform a lowly
action with lofty thoughts. I confess that the sweetest
aspirations of love often come to me in the refectory. Sometimes I
am brought to a standstill by the thought that were Our Lord in my
place He would certainly partake of those same dishes which are
served to me. It is quite probable that during His lifetime He
tasted of similar food--He must have eaten bread and fruit.

"Here are my little rubrics:

"I imagine myself at Nazareth, in the house of the Holy Family.
If, for instance, I am served with salad, cold fish, wine, or
anything pungent in taste, I offer it to St. Joseph. To our
Blessed Lady I offer hot foods and ripe fruit, and to the Infant
Jesus our feast-day fare, especially rice and preserves. Lastly,
when I am served a wretched dinner I say cheerfully: 'To-day, my
little one, it is all for you!'"