Brother Craig Driscoll
Note: Although the following Lenten dates are off for the current year I hope you will still find it beneficial.
March 4 Ash Wednesday - Fast and Abstinence - "For dust thou art and into
dust thou shalt return."(Gn. 3:19)
Begin Lent with confession. You need not wait until Saturday. Stop by the rectory or ask the Father before Mass. Peacefully, humbly let God cleanse your soul. Then "Go in peace."
5 Thursday - Thank Jesus for giving Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist by attending Mass more frequently (We can now receive Holy Communion twice a day as long as we attend the full second Mass.) or doing some other Eucharistic act of love and gratitude.
6 Friday - Abstinence - Read the account of the Passion according to St. Matthew
(Mt. 26:36-27: 54)
Make the Stations of the Cross, slowly, and think of the sufferings of Jesus. "We adore Thee O Christ and we praise Thee because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world."
7 Saturday - Saturday is Our Lady's day. It has been for centuries. Pray Her Rosary today. Perhaps you could pray it everyday, not just during Lent, for Our Lady is your Mother every day. Start with one decade each day. It will enrich your life.
8 Sunday - It's Sunday. Rest! It's good for you and most importantly, it's God's Law. Rest each Sunday. That you LIKE digging in the garden or refinishing the kitchen floor doesn't change it from being work. The definition of work is not "something we dislike to do." Learn to rest on Sunday.
9 Monday - Today think of Saint Frances of Rome. She was wealthy. Yet she visited the poor and sick. Do we know someone poor or sick we can visit today?
10 Tuesday - "More than anything else I believe in the power of prayer" (Edel Quinn). The power or effectiveness of prayer is very real because God made it so, God made it that many graces depend on our prayers. Prayer has a real effect. Spend as much time as you can in prayer today.
11 Wednesday - Go through the house today. Unclutter your life. Give away what you don't need. Take it to a thrift shop. Work toward simplicity. Buy less. Need less.
12 Thursday - Today you decide. Do something because it's Lent. Think. Pray. Then decide what you should do today.
13 Friday - Abstinence - Read the account of the Passion according to St. Mark (MK. 14:32-15: 47). Make the Station of the Cross as if you were there, as if you were there with Our Lady, St. John, Veronica. "At the Cross YOUR station keeping."
14 Saturday - During Lent think of Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows. The Mother of Jesus standing at the Cross. Be with your Mother on Calvary. Console Her. And let Her console you in the sorrows of your life.
15 Sunday - Rest. Yes, every Sunday. At LaSalette Our Lady appeared to two children in 1846. The children saw Our Blessed Mother weep. She told them the reasons for Her tears. One of them: work on Sunday. Reorder your week, your life, so you can rest on Sunday.
16 Monday - Find out how you can help the poor who live near you. Perhaps their is a poor family near-by. Or perhaps today you could help at a soup kitchen. or send food to one. Find out. "What you did for the least of your brethren you did for me."
17 Tuesday - Today is St. Patrick's Day. When St. Patrick lit the
Easter Fire the pagan priests on the hill of Tara said to the king, "If you don't put it out it will burn forever." The Irish have brought the faith to many countries. In gratitude, today, pray for peace in Ireland. And don't forget to wear green!
18 Wednesday - Turn off the TV. Leave it off. I don't want you to think that I hate TV. (but I do!) It has destroyed family prayer and family fun. Of course I don't mean Mother Angelica! I mean all the rest. Forget it. God is calling you to greater things.
19 Thursday - Pray to St. Joseph today. As St. Teresa of Avila said "he never fails to answer our prayers" although he might correct and improve our petitions. Prayer to St. Joseph: Guardian of the Savior, guard me each day, guide me in my work and teach me to love humility, poverty and silence as you did. Amen.
20 Friday - Abstinence. Read the account of the Passion according to St. John (Jn 18:1-19 42). Think about how St. John was there at the Cross. Strive to be like St. John, a faithful and beloved disciple. Make the Station of the Cross today using your own words.
21 Saturday - Let Our Lady bring peace into your soul and encourage those who have emotional or mental sufferings to turn to their Mother. "Mother Mary, speaking words of wisdom `Let it be.' In my hour of darkness there is still a light that shines on me."
22 Sunday - Rest. Do some spiritual reading. It's good to have Catholic books in the house and to make it a custom to spend an hour or two each Sunday reading.
23 Monday - Save cancelled stamps. They can help the missions. When you tear them off the envelope leave a little paper around the stamp. Ask your friends for them. Send them to: Missionary Sister of St. Peter Claver P.O. Box 1058 Chesterfield, MO. 63006.
24 Tuesday - Cultivate a sense of humor. Bring Joy to others. Spread cheerfulness. Don't take yourself too seriously. Holiness is spacious, life-giving and joyful. Strive to help others laugh away discouragement and depression. Laughter is a holy thing. Our Blessed Lord told Margery Kempe, the English mystic, "You have a right to be merry."
25 Wednesday - Today is the Annunciation. "Listen. Be silent. Let Christ speak to you. Forget yourself, let Him tell you how He loves you!"(Caryll Houselander).
26 Thursday - Perhaps their are children who live near you. Perhaps some who need you. Couldn't they come to your house a couple times a month? You could tell them stories about the Saints, teach a little catechism and do some crafts. All informally. Today many children need some "adopting." Find out.
27 Friday - Abstinence. Read the account of the Passion according to St. Luke (LK 21:39 - 23:56). Make the Station of the Cross. Realize that the sufferings of Jesus were far greater than we had been taught by pictures, etc. The scourging of Our Blessed Lord covered Him with wounds. Think of the reality of the Passion. My Jesus Mercy. Forgive my sins.
28 Saturday - Let Mary be your Mother. Never mind if your relationship with your mother is or was good or lacking. Our Lady's Motherhood is beyond all that. Open your heart to Mary. Talk to Her. Tell Her how much you love Her.
29 Sunday - Rest. Perhaps take a walk today. Maybe you'll have to drive out into the country and then walk. Take a long walk, quietly, reflectively. Talk to Jesus. Plan the following week together.
30 Monday - Help a charity. Send a donation to a group that puts the corporal works of mercy into action. Even a small donation helps. Then help a little more. Save them time and money, by telling them "no acknowledgement."
31 Tuesday - "Where there is no love put love and there will be love." (St. John of the Cross). Try to think of someone who needs some kindness. Perhaps by writing a letter or making a telephone call you can bring joy into someone's life; someone you don't feel like being kind too, perhaps, like that wealthy aunt who never remembers your birthday. Perhaps, well, you know who it is.
April 1 Wednesday - In the Gospel today we read "For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son." The love of Jesus for the Father is expressed throughout the Gospels. Today ask Jesus to bring you closer to the Father, your Father.
2 Thursday - Try not to worry today. Try to start freeing your life from anxieties and tension even if it means reordering your life or even!!!! putting the house in order. "We need to pray to calm and compose the inner self."(Louis Evely).
3 Friday - Abstinence. Today is First Friday. A day dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Acquire a picture of Jesus showing His Heart all aflame with love for you. Place it in your home. Let it be the center of your home and let Jesus reign in your heart.
4 Saturday - This day is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Be Her child. Ask Her maternal care. To symbolize this wear Her scapular. For free blessed scapular send a stamped business size envelope to JMJ P.O. Box 381 Menomonee Falls WI 53052.
5 Sunday - "The only sadness is not to be a saint."(Leon Bloy) You are called to be a saint. Strive to be holy. Pray. Try to be self-less. Forget yourself. Think about God. Think about others. Beg God to make you a saint.
6 Monday - Here's a charity that feeds the poor in the Philippines and elsewhere. It's dedicated to helping the poor in honor of Our Lady, Mother of the Poor. Mary's Bread 2241 Englewood Englewood, FL 34223
7 Tuesday - Be patient. Be kind. Today really work on being gentle and meek. Ignore that irritable feeling. Forget anger. Listen to others. Be available. Love is patient, love is kind, it always says "I don't mind."(Elywn Ryhl)
8 Wednesday - Today strive to be very kind, meek and humble with everyone. We can't be too kind, too patient or too passive. "Do good to those who persecute you" and "Love your enemies" are folly but they are the radical folly of the Gospel. Jesus meek and humble of Heart make my heart like unto Thine.
9 Thursday - Today make bread. It's a wonderful adventure. Or today start to learn to make bread. Then try fasting on bread and water today.
10 Friday - Abstinence. Think about the Passion. Think about Jesus continuing His Passion in people throughout the world the persecuted, those in Communist prisons. Today make the Stations of the Cross for the persecuted. "Jesus will be in agony until the end of time." (Pascal).
11 Saturday - Today is a good day to go to confession for Easter. To cleanse your soul and to receive the healing grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the best way to prepare for Easter, the Feast of New Life. Go to confession. I'll be praying for you!
12 Sunday - Palm Sunday. Today the suffering begins as Jesus sees the crowd cheering "hosanna." The crowd who will turn against Him. Give yourself completely to Jesus today in reparation for those who turn against Him still today.
13 Monday - Today try to figure out a way to economize, perhaps with food costs and then send the difference to: FOOD FOR THE POOR 1301 W. Copans Rd. Pompano Beach, FL. 33064
14 Tuesday - Today is a good day to do Easter baking and egg-decorating if you have a way to keep it all "healthy." Tomorrow starts a solemn sadness and you want to enter into that completely. (Eggs are a symbol of Resurrection)
15 Wednesday - Tomorrow Jesus is betrayed. Forgive everyone who has ever hurt you. Forgive all those who have hurt you throughout your life. Yes, even THAT painful hurt. The philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, taught that real reconciliation is when we forgive someone BEFORE that person asks for forgiveness.
16 Holy Thursday - Today thank Jesus for the gift of the Holy Eucharist. Encourage others to love, adore and have complete reverence for our Eucharistic Lord. Offer prayers of reparation for so much widespread carelessness and irreverence.
17 Good Friday - Jesus, your Savior is suffering, is dying. Keep a sorrowful silence from 12 noon until 3:00 pm. Let sorrow enter your heart. Spend as much time as you can in prayer today. "Human effort cannot save us, only the Passion of Christ. I wish to share in that." (Bl. Edith Stein)
18 Holy Saturday - Spend some of today quietly, prayerfully with Our Lady. She is alone now. Jesus has been placed in the tomb. Ask Our Blessed Mother to help you pray, to guide your spiritual life.
19 Easter Sunday - Rejoice
Reprinted with permission from Catholic Faith and Family, 33 Rossotto Drive, Hamden, CT 06514