Day39 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/10/09
St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX(On Lent XI) : complete
Day 39Lite Version
St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI) complete
There is no doing justice to one of Fr. Jeff’s homilies, but not to try is to leave you without the tickling touch of heaven. He usually is very personal with bits and pieces from his life, this time as a national guard chaplain. Last week brought the realities of the motor pool to bear on his celebration of the Mass. He went head to head with the jet sounds of an air pump. He eventually had to scrap a “really wonderful sermon” (laughing at his humility) in the loosing battle for volume dominance.
The experience was not without its reward. Fr. Jeff came away thinking of the noisy society that clamors with sound bites and distraction for our conscious attention, while actually driving us to distraction and semi-consciousness.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. (Isaiah 50:4-5)
With the words from the scripture still echoing in our ears, Fr. Jeff reminded us of the still small voice that morning after morning speaks to us and the Lord who “opens my ear that I may hear.”
All this week, we will be hearing the salvation story retold once again. Will it be received as so much noise, something we’ve heard before with no special clarity of nuance or message. Will we “hear the subtleties of the orchestra for the life of our soul and hearts.”
Here again, Fr. Jeff got personal. This time it was the $40 ear buds he was coaxed to buy with promises of sounds he’d never heard before. “Sure”, he thought somewhat cynically, but took the bait, none-the-less. He sprang for the pricey thingies.
Once wired for sound, Fr. Jeff listened to his music and heard sonorous sounds he’d never heard before, nuances and subtleties, tone and clarity. He’d paid the price, and it was worth every penny ! For us in church this morning, it was a clarion call to listen again, to incline an an open ear. I think of the young apostle John with his ear to our Lord’s heart at the Last Supper.
Jesus’ story is the same year after year but there are subtleties and an ever newness for us this brand new day. Be conscious, by a prayer and an act of the will! “Morning after morning, he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back”
This is a learning experience for me, you might as well come along.
Ever since the night before the Exodus Jews have celebrated a Seder, a supper before the Lord and a story told, the Haggadah.
More Happy Passover from the Anchoress
If you have not checked out DivineOffice.org yet, Holy Week is the perfect time to begin praying with the Church with the help of this wonderful ministry. Divine Office is produced by Dane Falkner and some very dedicated and talented people. It’s purpose is to promote “the tradition of praying always through these ancient treasures of the Church, not only to Catholics but to all Christians universally.”
Here are the wonder workers, Dane, Chriss, Denise and Greg:
DivineOffice.org provides daily free podcast of the Divine Office, definitely 5 star! plus iPhone App made available through iTunes (extremely affordable.)
Having a virtual community is great when you know they are real people reaching out to no less than the world. The music, professional presentation of the daily inspirational scriptures, readings and prayers, has enriched my experience of listening to and praying the Divine Office. As I said, Check them out!
Thomas A’ Kempis’words in My Imitation of Christ are ever new speaking to the heart. Preparations of a soul are often given little regard in the world, so let’s draw apart from the world to consider the gift, the soul and the benefits of our Faith received:
Here in the Sacrament of the altar You are wholly present, my God, the man Christ Jesus, whence is obtained the full realization of eternal salvation, as often as You are worthily and devoutly received. To this, indeed, we are not drawn by levity, or curiosity, or sensuality, but by firm faith, devout hope, and sincere love. O God, hidden Creator of the world, how wonderfully You deal with us! How sweetly and graciously You dispose of things with Your elect to whom You offer Yourself to be received in this Sacrament! This, indeed, surpasses all understanding. This in a special manner attracts the hearts of the devout and inflames their love. Your truly faithful servants, who give their whole life to amendment, often receive in Holy Communion the great grace of devotion and love of virtue. Oh, the wonderful and hidden grace of this Sacrament which only the faithful of Christ understand, which unbelievers and slaves of sin cannot experience! In it spiritual grace is conferred, lost virtue restored, and the beauty, marred by sin, repaired. At times, indeed, its grace is so great that, from the fullness of the devotion, not only the mind but also the frail body feels filled with greater strength. Nevertheless, our neglect and coldness is much to be deplored and pitied, when we are not moved to receive with greater fervor Christ in Whom is the hope and merit of all who will be saved. He is our sanctification and redemption. He is our consolation in this life and the eternal joy of the blessed in heaven. This being true, it is lamentable that many pay so little heed to the salutary Mystery which fills the heavens with joy and maintains the whole universe in being. Oh, the blindness and the hardness of the heart of man that does not show more regard for so wonderful a gift, but rather falls into carelessness from its daily use! If this most holy Sacrament were celebrated in only one place and consecrated by only one priest in the whole world, with what great desire, do you think, would men be attracted to that place, to that priest of God, in order to witness the celebration of the divine Mysteries! But now there are many priests and Mass is offered in many places, that God’s grace and love for men may appear the more clearly as the Sacred Communion is spread more widely through the world. Thanks be to You, Jesus, everlasting Good Shepherd, Who have seen fit to feed us poor exiled people with Your precious Body and Blood, and to invite us with words from Your own lips to partake of these sacred Mysteries: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” Book 4: chapter 1