Friday, March 2, 2007

Lentenly simple

Despite the fact that I am not at all certain that the adjective Lenten can be turned into an adverb, this is a friendly diaconal reminder (i.e., a service announcement) that today is a Friday of Lent and a First Friday. Therefore abstinence is in effect. So, plan accordingly. On this first Friday, you might consider attending Mass and/or walking the stations of the Cross. You may do so this evening at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Mass is at 5:15 PM with Stations following Vespers at about 6:00 PM. In addition to, or if you are unable to participate in communal devotions, you may want to consider praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Don Francisco, a Christian song-writer, sums it up well, if a bit bluntly: "Jesus didn't die for you because it was fun. He hung there for love because it had to be done". Remember, while feelings do play a part, and an important part at that, love is first and foremost not a feeling, but an act of the will. Put simply, love is a choice. Let us always choose love because to choose love is to choose God, quia Deus Caritas Est (1 Jn 4,8). Today is a good day to allow ourselves to be tutored in the divine way because it is a day on which, in an intense way, we remember, commemorate, even celebrate the love God has shown us in Christ, especially his enduring his Passion and death for our sakes. Dear Father, "for the sake of [Jesus'] sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world".

Lord Jesus,
Help us to abstain this day from what we do not really need, and help our brothers and sisters in distress

Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments, but above all in
the ordinary events of daily life

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