Posted by: fvbcdm | March 6, 2014

Catholic Daily Message for the Feast of Saint Colette (6 March 2014)

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, concerned itself with the use of ashes to indicate that we are entering a penitential season of the year and signing ourselves with ashes, a symbol of death, in the form of the cross, the instrument of Our Divine Lord’s death and redemption of us.

On the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, we now turn our attention in the sacred liturgy to the fact that we are beginning a holy season called Lent in which we need to reflect upon the choice that each of us must make in our life. We can choose between good and evil, virtue and sin, the blessing and the curse, spiritual life and spiritual death.  Moses speaks of these choices to the people in the book of Deuteronomy, and then says, “Choose life.” That very short and simple recommendation: Choose life, can have many connotations. Primarily it means that we are being urged to choose spiritual life, the well-being of the human soul in union with God. We call that condition “sanctifying grace.” It is necessary for admittance into heaven. In addition to that, the command “choose life” can refer to human life as well. It is allied to what Pope John Paul has called “the culture of life or the culture of death.” Those who choose life in this sense choose to respect human life as the greatest of our natural gifts. It includes such moral matters as the proper use of human sexuality which is the source of human life; respect for every human being from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death; care for the sick, the elderly, the handicapped, the poor, the underprivileged, those not yet born; it seeks alternatives to the horror of war and the use of capital punishment to deal with crime and criminals. Just think what this human race of ours could do to alleviate suffering of all kinds if it devoted the time, the money, the talents, and the resources that we have to the bettering of the human condition rather than to weapons build-up and the waging of war!

 In the opening prayer for this Thursday, we ask of God: May everything we do begin with your inspiration, continue with your help, and reach perfection under your guidance. The Church has this holy season of Lent principally in mind, but that prayer is equally appropriate for every undertaking of our lives. I remember reading years ago of a traveler who was approaching the Trappist monastery of Gethsemani in Kentucky. The monks were out in the fields working. The traveler in his automobile noticed that one of the monks had come to the end of the row of vegetables that he was hoeing. He then moved over to start on the next row. But before doing that, the monk paused for a moment to make the sign of the cross. Intrigued by that gesture, the traveler pulled over to the side of the road and switched off his ignition. He watched the laboring monk come again to the end of a row, move over to the next row, make the sign of the cross, and resume his work. Each row was dedicated to God by the sign of Our Lord’s cross; each row was a sort of life in miniature. Every morning when I awaken, I make the sign of the cross to begin a new day in this life of mine which is a gift of God and which I want to live in union with him day by day.

We are now at the beginning of Lent in this year of Our Lord [2014]. Let us fervently pray that we may begin it with God’s inspiration, continue it with his help, and bring it to its conclusion by his divine guidance.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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