Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day 7: Sunday, March 26, 2017



2017 Busy Catholic’s Online Lenten Retreat

Living Lent With Love

Day Seven
Sunday, March 26

Today’s Scripture
(John 9:1-41)
As he passed by Jesus saw a man blind from birth…. [H]e spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam”….  So he went and washed, and came back able to see.  …[T]he Pharisees…said to him, “…We know that this man is a sinner.” He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.”  They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out….  When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe?” Jesus said to him, “…the one speaking with you is he.”  He said, “I do believe,”….  Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” Some of the Pharisees …heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

Pope Francis’s Reflection
How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion….  Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest…. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new.  …[T]hose excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised—they are no longer even a part of society.
(Apostolic Exhortation/The Joy of the Gospel #53)

Let us pray.
Loving God, I certainly don’t like to be left out, to be ignored, dismissed or overlooked. Yet sometimes my attitudes or actions may make others feel that they’re invisible or without worth or that their presence counts for nothing. Remind me, and often, that you are a God without borders. That there is a place for everyone at your banquet table. That the only requirement is to simply show up and know oneself as God’s beloved. Amen.

Material in this year’s online retreat is excerpted with permission from Living Lent with Love.
This material is copyrighted and all rights are reserved. 
Published by special arrangement with Creative Communications for the Parish

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day 6: Saturday, March 25, 2017



2017 Busy Catholic’s Online Lenten Retreat

Living Lent With Love

Day Six
Saturday, March 25

Today’s Scripture
Luke 1:26-38

Pope Francis’s Reflection
Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves. Contemplating Mary, we realize that she who praised God for “bringing down the mighty from their thrones” and “sending the rich away empty” is also the one who brings a homely warmth to our pursuit of justice.
(Apostolic Exhortation/The Joy of the Gospel #288)

Let us pray.
Loving God, like Mary, I know you are present with me and that I’m greatly blessed. Like Mary, I’m sometimes also deeply troubled by the way you announce your plans for me and then turn my ordered world upside down. Whatever my life holds of joy or loss, I pray that I may enter each moment and meet every person with a heart of compassion and welcome so startling, bold and countercultural that no one will miss its source: you. May the revolution that is the good news of your love take hold in me. Amen.

Material in this year’s online retreat is excerpted with permission from Living Lent with Love.
This material is copyrighted and all rights are reserved. 
Published by special arrangement with Creative Communications for the Parish

Friday, March 24, 2017

Day 5: Friday, March 24, 2017



2017 Busy Catholic’s Online Lenten Retreat

Living Lent With Love

Day Five
Friday, March 24

Today’s Scripture
(Hosea 14:2-10)
Return, Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have stumbled because of your iniquity.  Take with you words, and return to the LORD; Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and take what is good. Let us offer the fruit of our lips….  We will never again say, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion.” I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: she will blossom like the lily; she will strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and her shoots will go forth. Her splendor will be like the olive tree and her fragrance like Lebanon cedar.  Again they will live in her shade; they will raise grain, they will blossom like the vine, and her renown will be like the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim! What more have I to do with idols? I have humbled Israel, but I will take note of her. I am like a verdant cypress tree.  From me fruit will be found for you!  Who is wise enough to understand these things?  Who is intelligent enough to know them? Straight are the paths of the LORD, the just walk in them, but sinners stumble….

Pope Francis’s Reflection
To hear and accept God’s call, to make a home for Jesus, you must be able to rest in the Lord. You must make time each day to rest in the Lord, to pray. To pray is to rest in the Lord. But you may say to me: Holy Father, I know that; I want to pray, but there is so much work to do! I must care for my children; I have chores in the home; I am too tired even to sleep well. I know. This may be true, but if we do not pray, we will not know the most important thing of all: God’s will for us. And for all our activity, our busy-ness, without prayer we will accomplish very little.
(Meeting with Families, Manila, January 16, 2015)

Let us pray.
Loving God, what you desire and dream for me is abundant life. What I desire is to make my home in you. I can be swept up in the sometimes frantic pace of my schedule. I can be held captive by my to-do list with all that I must accomplish before I close my eyes at night. Let me pause often in the midst of my busy day and ask: Where are you? Where am I? And how are we together? Loving God, rest and pray in me today. Amen.

Material in this year’s online retreat is excerpted with permission from Living Lent with Love.
This material is copyrighted and all rights are reserved. 
Published by special arrangement with Creative Communications for the Parish

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day 4: Thursday, March 23, 2017



2017 Busy Catholic’s Online Lenten Retreat

Living Lent With Love

Day Four
Thursday, March 23

Today’s Scripture
(Jeremiah 7:23-28)

Pope Francis’s Reflection
We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur. Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word which shows that we are more than simply bystanders. Only through such respectful and compassionate listening can we enter on the paths of true growth and awaken a yearning for the Christian ideal….
 (Apostolic Exhortation/The Joy of the Gospel #171)

Let us pray.
Loving God, at times I can feel a bit sorry for you. After all, you’re continually pouring out your love for me, showering me with your presence and your grace. And what happens? So many times I don’t pay attention. I go on my way and miss the announcement that you are here, now. It seems I hear, but I don’t really listen, don’t take your word into my heart, wrestle with it and invite it to transform my life. Open my heart so that nothing stands in the way of you. Amen.

Material in this year’s online retreat is excerpted with permission from Living Lent with Love.
This material is copyrighted and all rights are reserved. 
Published by special arrangement with Creative Communications for the Parish

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day 3: Wednesday, March 22, 2017



2017 Busy Catholic’s Online Lenten Retreat

Living Lent With Love

Day Three
Wednesday, March 22

Today’s Scripture
(Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9)

Pope Francis’s Comment
You can’t have a family without dreams. Once a family loses the ability to dream, children do not grow, love does not grow, life shrivels up and dies. So I ask you each evening, when you make your examination of conscience, to also ask yourselves this question: Today did I dream about my children’s future? Today did I dream about the love of my husband, my wife? Did I dream about my parents and grandparents who have gone before me?
 (Meeting with Families, Manila, January 16, 2015)

Let us Pray
Loving God, I had no say over choosing the family into which I was born. But I do have something to say about the family in which I live at this moment. I know how we can be flawed, broken and discouraged by our human limitations. I also believe that, with your grace, my family can come together, work, pray and play together to reflect your relationship of enduring love and forgiveness. May I always remember that you are at the center of who we are as family. Amen.

Material in this year’s online retreat is excerpted with permission from Living Lent with Love.
This material is copyrighted and all rights are reserved. 
Published by special arrangement with Creative Communications for the Parish