Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

On the same subject of Exterior Penance and Mortification.


Make a free offering of your body to God, and he will impart to you his Spirit. Be watchful and careful in the discipline of your exterior, and he will guard and provide for the interior. Do all that you can, and that which you cannot accomplish he will do for you. Walk while you can, and when your strength fails you he will bear you in his arms. Fast with Jesus, that you may eat the Pasch with him.


Fasting is salutary for both soul and body; it is an efficacious remedy for their diseases. Nothing is impossible to him who has faith; nothing is difficult to him who loves; all is possible to him who places his trust in God. Fast if you can, and persuade yourself that you can do more than you imagine yourself capable of. Fasting is blessed by God, consecrated by his Son, and observed by all the faithful. God imparts strength to those who fast, and deprives of strength those who do not. Good cheer and luxurious ease are destructive to the health and life of all men; fasting and abstinence are safe remedies which restore the health and prolong the lives of all who practise them. He who shall have lost his health and strength for Jesus Christ, shall recover all that he thinks he has lost. He who desires to preserve his body and health over the interests of Jesus Christ, shall lose all that he hopes to gain.


I will therefore chastise my body as the Apostles did, for fear of being found among the reprobates. I desire, with all my heart, to follow the example and imitate the life of Jesus Christ, that I may be of the number of the saved. I will mortify my body, in order to remedy the maladies of my soul; I will deprive it of the power of revolting, by fasting, which will impair its strength. I will mortify my senses, that I may live a spiritual life. I wish to die with Jesus, that I may rise with Jesus. I wish for stripes and wounds, that I may become a true member of his thorn-crowned head; and if I have not courage to inflict them on myself, I will at least suffer with thankfulness whatever afflictions God may see fit, in his divine providence, to send me.
Our resolution and prayer are of great importance to the success of our Lenten program and so remain the same.

Resolution: To develop a penitential program for Lent involving the three traditional mortifications of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and to begin practicing it no later than next Monday.

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, enlighten me that I may know my weaknesses and guide me in choosing those penances and mortifications which will be most salutary for my salvation.
By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

1 comment:

Sarabeth Carlin said...

Dear Father Bailey,
Thank you for your inspirational website. I just came across it a few months ago, and have enjoyed reading the past blogs.
Your thought provoking words have helped me in my journey to Our Saviour..
May God continue to bless you.