Saturday, February 13, 2021

Cheesefare Sunday and Forgiveness Vespers --- wishing all a holy beginning to Great Lent 2021

Brethren-  do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. 

So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.  One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.  

The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.  

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. (Letter to Romans) 

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  

But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,  so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.   For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Gospel of Matthew) 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

What books should I read for Lent 2021?

There's something about C. S. Lewis' fiction- His Narnia books, I can re-read and I remember almost every word. I might experience Narnia differently, but I know the land very well. With Til We Have Faces and the Space Trilogy, it is as I have never read them. So I'll be re-reading them in 2021. It has been awhile in any case. I enjoyed Out of the Silent Planet last week- I think of it as a prose poem filled with hope and wisdom. 

This past week, I (re) read Rumer Godden's In This House Of Brede. This book explores the lives of Benedictine nuns a bit before the Vatican II Council. The nuns are human, but most of them are holy. I would say that it is a very realistic, sympathetic view of the lives of religious. I have been blessed to know holy women and I even lived for a year in a convent in Slovakia when I was teaching there! There is a lot of truth in this book. But I don't know what God is telling me. Twice I have read this book in preparation for a book club, but I have not been able to go to the meeting because of family obligations. Ah- the life of a non-celibate!

I am continuing my daily Bible reading. Tomorrow, I begin the Book of Deuteronomy. Salvation history is quite a ride! And for Great Lent, I will add two books that I have read in past years, but I need to re-visit them- Thirty Steps to Heaven and Lent and Easter- Wisdom from Fulton J Sheen- ,reading every morning after my Bible. I highly recommend both of them. This year, I am going to read with a pen in my hand so that I can mark up the books. Both of these books are truly ones that should be read multiple times. Lent is coming soon; my soul needs this season and it comes just in time every year!