During this Lenten season, I’ll be reading Lent and Easter Wisdom from St. Francis and St. Clare by Dr. John Kruse.  As I wander through Lent, I’ll use these daily devotions to guide me during this time of fasting, self-examination, penitence, and remembering the hunger and thirst that Christ not only experienced while hanging on the cross, but also the hunger and thirst that drove Him there:  His relentless, raging, furious love for us.  I’ll be sharing portions of what I’m reading during Lent with you as I go along. 

Lent is not only a time of laying things down (fasting), but of picking things up (daily prayer, almsgiving, etc.).  One of things I love about the Kruse book is that it gives the reader a “Lenten Action” for every day.  I’ll include a brief synopsis of these as we travel.

Check brief biographies of St. Clare and St. Francis at New Advent’s Catholic Encyclopedia.

Peace of the Lord be with you all…

Ash Wednesday

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Westminster Cathedral, London

Most High,
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me
true faith,
certain hope,
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord,
that I may carry out
Your holy and true command.

St. Francis, “The Prayer before the Crucifix”, 40

Scripture reading for the day:  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  (Matthew 4:1-2)

Lenten action for the day:  Take five minutes to meditate and pray in front of a crucifix.  Pray that Christ would accompany you on your journey through Lent, and that you would find yourself closer to Him than ever before when you arrive at Easter.  Write down three things you can change, patterns that you can adopt, to help you accomplish this goal.

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In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (The sign of the cross should be made in remembrance of your baptism)

O Emmanuel, our King and our Lawgiver, the hope of the nations and their Saviour, come and save us, O Lord our God. Amen.

The Magnificat

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Readings for the Evening: 

Psalm 80

Matthew 1:18-25

Acts 4:1-12

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,the power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.  Amen.

Personal Prayers and Petitions

Silence

God our Father, as we approach with great anticipation the celebration of the day Christ was born, help us to greet Him with great joy;  to live in the light of Your Son; and to share the Good News of Your love.  Lord, be pleased to deliver us.  O God, make haste to help us.   Come quickly, Lord Jesus.  We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Light who has come into the world.  Amen.

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In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (The sign of the cross should be made in remembrance of your baptism)

O King of the Nations, and their desire, the Cornerstone making both one, come and save the human race, which You fashioned from clay. Amen.

The Magnificat

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Readings for the Evening: 

Psalm 118

Isaiah 7:14

Luke 1:26-38

Acts 4:1-12

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,the power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.  Amen.

Personal Prayers and Petitions

Silence

Almighty God, who in Jesus Christ has given us a kingdom that cannot be destroyed, forgive us our sins, open our eyes to God’s truth, strengthen us to do Your will, and give us the joy of Your Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

King of kings and Lord of lords, we ask that you would unify Your Bride, the Church, and use us as a tool to draw all nations to Your salvation.  Keep our eyes and hearts fixed on the goal of preparing our world for our coming King, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Endeavor us to do good, to do no harm, and to love You as You have loved us.   Lord, be pleased to deliver us.  O God, make haste to help us.   Come quickly, Lord Jesus.  Amen.