St Bernard's/Sacred Heart Parishioners
Video and Meditation for the Third Week of Lent
It is true that whatever good we do comes from God and, without His grace ,we cannot even pronounce His name. Understanding that we depend entirely on grace, God commands us to perform our part and to cooperate with Him in the work of salvation. Many desire to become saints but wish that God would do all the work and that He bring them to eternal glory without labor or inconvenience to them. But this is impossible. The divine law of God states that it is a burden carried by two, to show that His divine hand and our cooperation are indispensably necessary to create sanctity in the soul. In carrying this burden merits everlasting happiness. For this, we must sometimes subject our own will to violence, thus crushing what obstructs holiness.
During Lent, as we deny ourselves the goods and pleasures of the body, the blessings and joys of the spirit will be renewed within us. Our supreme responsibility is to live in such a way that we may be found worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven. First we must live faithfully by God's commandments. In choosing God and His demands above our own selfish pursuits, we show Him that we love Him. Secondly, when we receive the sacraments regularly, we receive Divine life into our souls. At Fatima, Mary suggested at least monthly confession when she asked for the first Saturday devotions. Thirdly, by performing works of charity and mercy, we break from our self-focus and grow to live out the gospel message of love. Fourthly, we must build our relationship with God by spending time with Him in prayer, just as we want to spend time with those we love.
In Fatima, Our Lady spoke of the "Triumph of the Heart," thus a triumph that starts from the heart to reach other hearts; a Triumph that begins very deep in each of us; a Triumph manifested through the most wonderful fruit of the spirit, charity.
Charity is given and not created, for it is a pure gift of God. The gift of charity is received in faith and is to be shared in humility. It is shared in humility to be received again, more precious than before, in joy. That sounds like His divine hand and our cooperation at work.
Ex More Docti Mystico: a translated Latin Lenten chant
As holy custom has taught us,
let us keep this well-known fast of forty days.
Moses and Elias originally revealed this period of forty days
and in later times Christ, the King and Maker of all seasons, hallowed it.
Therefore let us give less time to talking, eating, drinking, sleeping and amusing ourselves, and show a greater vigilance in our way of life.
But let us avoid sin, for it undermines the unreflecting soul;
let us yield no ground before our cunning foe's tyrannical demands.
Let us appease God's avenging wrath, beg for mercy before our Judge,
call upon Him in suppliant entreaty.
Let all of us most humbly offer this prayer. "Our sins have offended Your divine mercy. Yet pour out on us from heaven the grace of pardon, for You are the forgiver of sins.
Remember that, fallen though we are, we are Your handiwork.
Do not, we beg You, give another the honor that is due to Your name.
Pardon the evil we have done. Give in even greater measure the grace we ask for,
so that at last it may come about that we are pleasing to You in this life and in the next.
Blest Three in One, and One in Three, Almighty God, we pray to Thee,
that this our fast of forty days may work our profit and Thy praise."
Sent by Nita Schwartz on Sunday, March 4 at 4:12PM