Walking with Jesus to Jerusalem

Second Day of Lent

Gospel of the Day

Luke 9:22–25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”

Remembering Our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters

Following is a video that provides an idea of the crosses that Christians in the Middle East are asked to carry with and for Jesus Christ. This Lent let us remember and support our brothers and sisters throughout the world who endure persecution for their Christian faith and hope. Let us do all we can to preserve religious liberty in our own nations. May the Lord guide our feet in the way of peace.

ACN-candle

Defeat Indifference

February 24, at 6 p.m. Rome time, the Colosseum will be lit in red in remembrance of the persecuted church. Watch the event, Hope for the Persecuted Church, at noon Eastern on EWTN. A cathedral in Aleppo and church in Mosul will also be lit in red.

Responsorial Psalm of the Day
(verses from Psalm 1)

Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Meditation from In Conversation With God, Vol 2

One of the clearest symptoms of lukewarmness having entered into a soul is precisely such an abandoning of the Cross, a contempt for little mortifications, a scorning of anything that in some way involves sacrifice and self-denial. On the other hand, to flee from the Cross is to turn one’s back on holiness and joy; because one of the fruits of the mortified soul is just this capacity to relate to God and other people, and also a profound peace, even in the midst of tribulations and external difficulties. The person who abandons mortification is inevitably ensnared by his senses and becomes incapable of any supernatural thought.

Occasionally we will meet the Cross in some great difficulty, in a serious and painful illness, in an economic disaster, in the death of a loved one. …do not forget that being with Jesus means we shall most certainly come upon his Cross. When we abandon ourselves into God’s hands, He frequently permits us to taste sorrow, loneliness, opposition, slander, defamation, and ridicule,  coming both from within and from without. This is because He wants to mould us into His image and likeness. He even tolerates our being called lunatics and our being taken for fools. (St Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 301)

However we will normally find the Cross each day in the sort of petty annoyances that may occur at work, and which usually present themselves to us through people around us. It may be something unexpected, the difficult character of a person with whom we have to live, plans perhaps that have to be changed at the last minute, stubborn materials or instruments of work that fail us when we most need them. Discomfort, maybe caused by a cold, or heat, or noise … misunderstandings. A below-par seediness that impairs our efficiency on a particular day …

We have to accept these daily pinpricks courageously, offering them to God in a spirit of reparation without complaint. Those mortifications that crop up unexpectedly can help us, if we receive them well, to grow in the spirit of penance that we need so much, and to improve in the virtues of patience, of charity, of understanding; that is to say, in holiness. If we receive our setbacks with a bad spirit, it can cause us to rebel, or to become impatient or discouraged. Many Christians have lost their joy at the end of the day, not because of big reverses, but because they have not known how to sanctify the tiredness caused by work, or the little snags and minor frustrations which have arisen during the day. When we accept the Cross — little or great — it produces peace and joy in the midst of pain and is laden with merits for eternal life.

 

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Remember thy last end

 

Ash Wednesday

You are merciful to all, O Lord, and despise nothing that you have made. You overlook people’s sins, to bring them to repentance, and you spare them, for you are the Lord our God. (Wisdom 11:24, 25—27)

Selections from the Holy Mass

Collect for Mass

Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, you Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Old Testament Prophet: Joel 2:12–18 

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm: 51 

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Meditation from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen

Presence of God: I place myself in Your presence, O Lord; illumine with Your light the eternal truths, and awaken in my soul a sincere desire for conversion.

Meditation

1. Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return” (Gn, 3,19). These words, spoken for the first time by God to Adam after he had committed sin, are repeated today by the Church to every Christian, in order to remind him of two fundamental truths—his nothingness and the reality of death.

Dust, the ashes which the priest puts on our foreheads today, has no substance; the lightest breath will disperse it. It is a good representation of man’s nothingness: “O Lord, my substance is as nothing before Thee” (Ps 38,6), exclaims the Psalmist. Our pride, our arrogance, needs to grasp this truth, to realize that everything in us is nothing. Drawn from nothing by the creative power of God, by His infinite love which willed to communicate His being and His life to us, we cannot—because of sin—be reunited with Him for eternity without passing through the dark reality of death. The consequence and punishment of sin, death is, in itself, bitter and painful; but Jesus, who wanted to be like to us in all things, in submitting to death has given all Christians the strength to accept it out of love. Nevertheless, death exists, and we should reflect on it, not in order to distress ourselves, but to arouse ourselves to do good. “In all thy works, remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin” (Sir 7,40). The thought of death places before our eyes the vanity of earthly things, the brevity of life—”All things are passing; God alone remains”—and therefore it urges us to detach ourselves from everything, to scorn every earthly satisfaction, and to seek God alone. The thought of death makes us understand that “all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone” (Imitation of Christ, Book I, 1,4).

“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die … then there will be many things about which you care nothing” (Saint Teresa of Jesus, Maxims for her nuns, 68), that is, you will give up everything that has no eternal value. Only love and fidelity to God are of value for eternity. “In the evening of life, you will be judged on love” (John of the Cross, Spiritual Maxims 1, 57).

2. Today’s liturgy is an invitation to penance. During the imposition of ashes we chant: “Let us change our garments, and cover ourselves with sackcloth and ashes; let us fast and weep before the Lord.” It is an invitation to the corporal penance which is especially prescribed for this season; but it is immediately followed by the invitation to be converted: “Let us atone for the sins we have committed.” The end of physical mortification is spiritual penance—humility, recognition of our faults, compunction of heart, and the reform of our lives.

The Gospel (Mt 6,16–21) says further that all penance must be accomplished sincerely and joyfully, without vain ostentation, “When you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast.” Vanity and pride make even the most austere penitential practices useless and sometimes even sinful; they destroy their substance and value, and reduce them to mere externals, empty of all content. Hence when you mortify your body, take care to mortify your self-love still more.

Colloquy

If the remembrance of my infidelities torments me, I shall remember, O Lord, that “as soon as we are sorry for having offended You, You forget all our sins and malice. O truly infinite goodness! What more could one desire? Who would not blush with shame to ask so much of You? But now is the favorable time to profit from it, my merciful Savior, by accepting what You offer. You desire our friendship. Who can refuse to give it to You, who did not refuse to shed all Your blood for us by sacrificing Your life? What You ask is nothing! IT will be to our supreme advantage to grant it to You” (Saint Teresa of Jesus, Exercises, 14).

That we may rise with Christ at Easter

Meditation/Prayer in preparation for Lent
from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen

77. A New Program
Septuagesima Sunday

Presence of God: O Lord, I come to You with a keen desire to learn how to respond to Your invitations.

Meditation

1. The time of Septuagesima is somewhat like a prelude to Lent, the traditional time for spiritual reform. That is why the liturgy presents us today with a program which we must put into effect in order to bring about within ourselves a new, serious conversion, so that we may rise again with Christ at Easter. The Collect of today’s Mass, while reminding us that we are sinners, invites us to sentiments of profound humility, “to the end that we, who are justly afflicted because of our sins, may through Thy mercy, be freed from them.” The first step toward conversion always consists in humbly recognizing that we need to be converted. The lukewarm must become fervent, the fervent must reach perfection, the perfect must attain heroic virtue. Who can say that he does not need to advance in virtue and in sanctity?Each new step effects a new conversion to God, conversio ad Deum. In the Epistle (1 Cor 9,24–27 – 10,1–5) St. Paul urges us to undertake  this ceaseless spiritual labor. To reach sanctity and heavenly glory we must never tire of running and striving, as those who run in the stadium struggle and exert themselves “to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one. I, therefore, so run … not as one beating the air,” says the Apostle, “but I chastise my body and bring it into subjection!” This is the first point in the program: a generous struggle to overcome ourselves, to conquer evil and achieve goodness; denial of self by humility; denial of the body by physical mortification. Only those who struggle and exert themselves will win the prize. Therefore let us also run in such a way as to obtain the reward.

2. The Gospel (MT 20,1–16) gives us the second part of the program for this liturgical season: not to remain idle, but to labor assiduously in the Lord’s vineyard. The first vine to be cultivated is our own soul. God comes to meet us with His grace, but He does not will to sanctify us without our cooperation. On this Sunday the great invitation to sanctity is repeated to every soul. God in His love seeks out His scattered, idle children and gently reprimands them: “Why stand you here idle?” St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi says that “God calls us at various times, because creatures differ in state. In this variety we see God’s greatness and benignity, which never fail to call us by means His divine inspirations, in no matter what stage or situation we may be.” Blessed are those who, ever since their youth have always heard and followed the divine invitation! But each hour is God’s hour; and He passes by and calls us, even to the very last hour. What a consolation, and at the same time what an incentive to respond at last the Lord’s appeal: “Today if you shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts!” (Ps 94,8).

In addition to the vineyard of our soul, we must also consider the vineyard of the Church, where so many souls are waiting to be won to Christ. No one can consider himself dispensed from thinking of the welfare of others. However lowly our place in the Mystical Body of Christ, we are all members of it; consequently, each one of us must work for the welfare of others. It is possible for everyone to carry on an efficacious apostolate by example, prayer, and sacrifice. If, up to now, we have done but little, let us listen today to the words of Jesus: “Go you also into My vineyard.” Let us go and embrace generously the work which the Lord offers us; let us consider nothing too difficult when there is question of winning souls.

Colloquy

Bless, O Lord, this new liturgical season which opens today. By penetrating its spirit may I be disposed, with Your aid, for a serious reform of my spiritual life. Grant me sincere humility that I may know my misery and see myself as I am in Your eyes, free form those false lights which arise from self-love, deceiving me and leading me to think I am better than I am. If I wish to consider my wretchedness at Your feet, it is by no means in order to become discouraged: “In my trouble I call upon You, my God, and from Your holy temple, You hear my prayer. … You are my strength, O Lord, my support, my refuge, my Redeemer. You are my help in time of trouble. He who knows You, hopes in You, for You do not abandon the one who seeks You. From the depths of the abyss, I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice. If You will mark our iniquities, O Lord, who can stand it? But with You there is mercy, and by reason of Your law, I trust in You, O Lord!” (Mass of the day).

Infuse into me, O Jesus, new strength to take up more eagerly the course which will lead me to win the incorruptible crown of sanctity. “And since nature opposes what is good, I promise to declare a merciless ware against myself. My weapons for the battle will be prayer, the practice of the presence of God, and silence. But, O my Love, You know that I am not skilled in handling these arms. Nevertheless, I will arm myself with sovereign confidence in You, with patience, humility, conformity to Your divine will, and supreme diligence. But where shall I find the aid I need to fight against so many enemies in such a continual battle? Ah! I know! You, my God, proclaim Yourself my Captain, and raising the standard of Your Cross, You lovingly say, ‘Come, follow Me; do not fear” (St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus).

O my Lord, I will no longer resist Your invitation. May today sound for me the decisive hour of a response filled with generosity and perseverance. You call me. Here I am. I come to Your vineyard, O Lord, but if You are not with me to sustain me in my work, I shall accomplish nothing. O You who invite me, help me to do what You ask of me.

The touch of Jesus

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time / Quinquagesima Sunday

Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes
26th World Day of the Sick

Today is the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday. And this year, it happens to fall also on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes. How appropriate, given that we see time and again in Scripture that God is moved with pity by the condition of man. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus demonstrates God’s love for his creatures and his desire to cleanse and heal us. Jesus’ mission is to reconcile us with the Father; he humbles himself to take on a human nature; he becomes like us in all things but sin, that we might inherit rather than lose our destiny of eternal happiness.

Love is God, healing is found in him. That is why so many healings take place in association with the apparitions of Our Lady, be it at Lourdes (France, 1858), Guadalupe (Mexico, 1531), Fatima (Portugal, 1917), Kibeho (Rwanda, 1981–1989), or Vailankanni (India, 16th c).

The Old Testament reading shows us how people who were unclean had to separate themselves from community life. It was in the best interest of everyone. How different the situation is today, where the unclean gather at the table to be served the one bread to be touched by and to touch Jesus, to be forgiven of our venial sins and restored to the life of grace in the Holy Spirit. We truly can sing Psalm 32: blessed are we that Jesus takes away our faults, covers our sins. We confess our faults in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which moves us to exult, to be glad in the Lord.

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament:  Leviticus 13:1–2, 44–46

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest,
or to one of the priests among his descendants. If the man is leprous and unclean,
the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head.

“The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare,
and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp.

Responsorial Psalm: 32

Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation

New Testament Epistle: 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:3 

Brothers and sisters, Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Avoid giving offense, whether to the Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Gospel: Mark 1:40–45

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Meditation excerpt from Divine Intimacy, 69. The Sacraments

The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is a living organism possessing elements which are capable of propagating, conserving, and nourishing life in all her members. This vital force emanates from her divine Head and is the fruit of the grace merited for Her by this most loving Redeemer when He died on the Cross, that grace which He still diffuses in all His members by the means of the Sacraments. In fact, “when the Church administers the Sacraments by means of exterior rites, it is He who produces their interior effect” (Mystici Corporis). Jesus is the author of grace and has complete dominion over it; He created it as God, merited it as Man, and can dispense it as He wills and to whom He wills, even without the medium of the Sacraments. However, He ordinarily communicates grace to us through these sensible signs which He Himself has instituted, thus giving us greater assurance of having received it.

…When we receive a Sacrament it is not the priest alone who is attending to the good of our soul, but with him is Jesus, whose all-powerful action penetrates and vivifies the inmost fibers of our spirit. This is why the Sacraments, when administered to those who are capable of receiving them, have of themselves an infallible efficacy: in them is the action of God Himself.

Members of Christ’s Mystical Body

18. Now we see that the human body is given the proper means to provide for its own life, health and growth, and for that of all its members. Similarly, the Savior of mankind out of His infinite goodness has provided in a wonderful way for His Mystical Body, endowing it with the Sacraments, so that, as though by an uninterrupted series of graces, its members should be sustained from birth to death, and that generous provision might be made for the social needs of the Church. Through the waters of Baptism those who are born into this world dead in sin are not only born again and made members of the Church, but being stamped with a spiritual seal they become able and fit to receive the other Sacraments. By the chrism of Confirmation, the faithful are given added strength to protect and defend the Church, their Mother, and the faith she has given them. In the Sacrament of Penance a saving medicine is offered for the members of the Church who have fallen into sin, not only to provide for their own health, but to remove from other members of the Mystical Body all danger of contagion, or rather to afford them an incentive to virtue, and the example of a virtuous act.

19. Nor is that all; for in the Holy Eucharist the faithful are nourished and strengthened at the same banquet and by a divine, ineffable bond are united with each other and with the Divine Head of the whole Body. Finally, like a devoted mother, the Church is at the bedside of those who are sick unto death; and if it be not always God’s will that by the holy anointing she restore health to the mortal body, nevertheless she administers spiritual medicine to the wounded soul and sends new citizens to heaven – to be her new advocates – who will enjoy forever the happiness of God.

— Mystici Corporis Christi, Pope Pius XII, 1943

Prayer

Jesus, if you wish, you can make me clean.

Wait for me, wait, and I will come

Meditation of the Day
Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter XXX
Of Asking the Divine Assistance, and of Confidence of Recovering Grace

 

Son, I am the Lord, who give strength in the day of trouble. (Nahum 1:7).

Come to Me when it is not well with thee.

This is that which most of all hinders heavenly comfort, for thou art slow in turning thyself to prayer.

For before thou earnestly prayest to Me thou seekest in the meantime many comforts and delightest thyself in outward things.

And hence it comes to pass that all things avail thee little till thou take notice that I am He that delivers those that trust in Me. Nor is there out of Me any powerful help, or profitable counsel, or lasting remedy.

But now having recovered spirit after the storm, grow thou strong again in the light of My tender mercies, for I am at hand to repair all, not only to the full but even with abundance and beyond measure.

2. Is anything difficult to Me? or shall I be like one that promises and does not perform? (Jer. 32:27; Num. 23:19).

Where is thy faith? Stand firmly and with perseverance.

Have patience and be of good courage, comfort will come to thee in its proper season.

Wait for Me, wait, I will come and cure thee.

It is a temptation that troubles thee, and a vain fear that frightens thee.

What does that solicitude about future accidents bring thee but only sorrow upon sorrow? “Sufficient for the day is the evil therof.” (Matt. 6:34).

It is a vain and unprofitable thing to conceive either grief or joy for future things, which perhaps will never happen.

3. But it is incident to man to be deluded with such imaginations; and a sign of a soul that is yet weak and to be easily drawn away by the suggestions of the enemy.

For he cares not whether it be with things true or false that he abuses and deceives thee, whether he overthrow thee with the love of things present or the fear of things to come.

“Let not, therefore, thy heart be troubled and let it not be afraid.” (John 14:27).

Believe in Me and trust in My mercy. When thou thinkest I am far from thee, I am often nearest to thee.

When thou judgest that almost all is lost, then oftentimes it is that thou art in the way of gaining the greatest merit.

All is not lost when anything falls out otherwise than thou wouldst have it.

Thou must not judge according to thy present feeling, nor give thyself up in such manner to any trouble, from whence soever it comes, nor take it so as if all hope were gone of being delivered out of it.

4. Think not thyself wholly forsaken, although for a time I have sent thee some tribulation, or withdraw from thee the comfort which thou desirest; for this is the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.

And without doubt it is more expedient for thee, and for the rest of My servants, that thou be exercised by adversities than that thou shouldst take a complacence in thyself, imagining thyself to be what thou are not.

What I have given I can justly take away, and restore it again when I please.

5. When I give it, it is still Mine; when I take it away again I take not anything that is thine; for every good gift and every perfect gift is Mine. (James 1:17).

If I send the affliction or any adversity, repine not, neither let thy heart be cast down.

I can quickly raise thee up again and turn all thy burden into joy.

Nevertheless, I am just and greatly to be praised when I deal thus with thee.

6.  If thou think rightly and consider things in truth thou oughtest never to be so much dejected and troubled for any adversity, but rather to rejoice and give thanks.

Yea, even to account this as a special subject of joy, that afflicting thee with sorrows I spare thee not. (Job 6:10).

“As my Father hath loved me I also have loved you,” said I to My beloved disciples (John 15:9), whom certainly I did not send to temporal joys, but to great conflicts; not to honors, but to contempt; not to idleness, but to labors; not to rest, but to “bring forth much fruit in patience.” (Luke 8:13).

Remember these words, O My son.

Practical Reflections

I am the Lord, saith the Almighty, by the mouth of one of His prophets, who give strength to souls in the day of trouble and deliver those from danger who put their trust in Me. How consoling, how encouraging and supporting, are these words to a soul that, in the time of temptation and adversity, is faithful and constant to what God requires of it! This is what the Scripture calls to wait for and to support the Lord.

Believe in Me, says our blessed Saviour, and thy heart shall not be troubled nor fear. Wherefore, upon occasion of interior or exterior affliction, we should in the first place, have recourse to God with confidence; secondly, we should resign ourselves to His blessed will; thirdly, we should not neglect any of our spiritual exercises; fourthly, we should subdue ourselves, restrain and renounce ourselves in all things, that we may act in concert with God; fifthly, we should consider it our welfare and our merit to be afflicted, tormented, and, as it were, annihilated for the honor of God’s majesty; sixthly, we should be content to carry a crucified heart, a heart suffering and penetrated with bitterness and sorrow, in imitation of our crucified Jesus.

Prayer

No, Lord, I will not give up all as lost when Thou seemest to withdraw Thyself from me; but, on the contrary, I will believe all gained when my soul , though sinking under fatigue, and withered with bitterness, shall resign itself to Thy holy will, and live only in Thee, saying with the Prophet, I commit to Thee all my strength, for my soul is in Thy hands, and Thy mercy supports and encourages my heart to profit by the sense of my miseries. Abandon me not, O God, to the disorder of my passions, but be Thou their master by Thy grace, and keep me always in the possession of Thy love. Amen.