“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments
is not the truest of guides for human life?” ~Saint Benedict, from the Rule of Saint Benedict (73:3)
“Eternal Father, your Son has promised that whatever we ask in His Name will be given to us. In His Name I pray: give me a burning faith, a joyful hope, a holy love for Jesus Christ. Give me the grace of perseverance in doing Your will in all things. Do with me what You will. I repent of having offended You. Grant, O Lord, that I may love You always and never let me be separated from You.” ~Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Monday, March 2 ~ Second Week in the Season of Lent
Holy Gospel: Luke 6:36-38 Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
Meditation: God seeks our highest good and teaches us to seek the greatest good of others, even those who hate and abuse us. Our love for others, even those who are ungrateful and selfish towards us, must be marked by the same kindness and mercy which God has shown to us. It is easier to show kindness and mercy when we can expect to benefit from doing so. How much harder when we can expect nothing in return. Our prayer for those who do us ill both breaks the power of revenge and releases the power of love to do good in the face of evil. How can we possibly love those who cause us harm, ill-will, and grief? With God all things are possible. He gives power and grace to those who know his love and who ask for the gift and help of the Holy Spirit. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). God’s love conquers all, even our hurts, fears, prejudices and grief. Only the cross of Jesus Christ and his victory over sin can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment, and give us the courage to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
Prayer: O God, who have taught us to chasten our bodies for the healing of our souls, enable us, we pray, to abstain from all sins, and strengthen our hearts to carry out your loving commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: What makes Christians different and what makes Christianity distinct from any other religion? It is grace – treating others, not as they deserve, but as God wishes them to be treated – with loving-kindness and mercy. Do you pray for mercy and forgive those who wrong you? When we are confronted with our sinful condition and failings we experience guilt and shame. This can often either lead us to cast off pride and make-belief or it can lead us to lose our inhibitions and fall into more shameless deeds! If we are utterly honest and humble before God, we will admit our sins and ask for his mercy and forgiveness. Do you know the joy and freedom of repentance, forgiveness, and a clean heart?