Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

 
Enlighten, O God of compassion,
the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance,
and in your kindness
grant those you stir to a sense of devotion
a gracious hearing when they cry out to you.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 

Today's Reading

Daily Meditation: 

Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts. 
In our reflection, Jesus is about to face a fiery furnace,
 
which represents the full rejection of all our sins,
 
and the crushing defeat of death itself.
 
Praying the Stations again,
 
might help us grow in a sense that this is all “for me,” for my freedom.

We grow in a sense of repentance and deep sorrow. 
We grow in a desire to celebrate
 
the glorious Light in the midst of all darkness.

Rid yourself of all your sins 
and make a new heart and a new spirit. 
Gospel antiphon, based upon Ezekiel 18:31
 

Intercessions: 

Blessed be God, the giver of salvation, who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in himself, 
when all would be made new.  With great confidence let us ask him: 
   Lord, renew us in your Spirit. 

Lord, you promised a new heaven and a new earth; renew us daily through your Spirit, 
 - that we may enjoy your presence for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem. 

Help us to work with you to make this world alive with your Spirit, 
 - and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.

Free us from all negligence and sloth, 
 - and give us joy in your gifts of grace.

Deliver us from evil, 
 - and from slavery to the senses, which blinds us to goodness
.

Closing Prayer: 

Loving Creator, 
I know in your great love for me, 
you see the deep sorrow in my heart. 
Hear my prayers which are offered with such trust in you.

Be with me in both mind and heart 
as I renew my life in your spirit.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

There weren’t any angels with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they boldly stood up to King Nebuchadnezzar. They still weren’t present when those men walked into the furnace. They had no visual evidence of their safety, nor of God’s willingness to dramatically save them. And yet, they trusted.

Just as God showed up to assist them in their time of trouble, He does the same for us. Thankfully most of us won’t be asked to choose between a false idol and a hot furnace, but we definitely will face the choice between standing up for our faith or laughing at an unholy joke. How about lustily satisfying our sexual urges versus trusting God’s plan for the gift of our sexuality? Perhaps a choice between making more money or keeping the Sabbath day a holy day of rest? Our lives are besieged with choices that pit the secularity of our worldly society against our universal call to holiness. Do we trust God leading our lives?

Including the planning my fiancé and I are doing for our wedding and more importantly preparing for marriage, finishing internal medicine residency this summer, moving back to Wisconsin, and starting work as a full-time physician this fall, 2016 will go down as one of the most eventful years of my life. With these changes come challenges and choices. With each step, there inevitably comes a time when I must choose between what is easier/gives me more gratification and on the other hand what is holier and Godlier. For example, it would be financially easier and certainly gratify me more to live with my fiancé for the month that we live in Wisconsin before our wedding. But that’s not what God calls us to. The choice to live separately until we are wed is clearly what God and the Church ask of us and we will trust in His plan for our housing and finances.

Trust is a central theme of Lent. We deny ourselves and trust that God will provide. We sorrowfully walk the Via Dolorosawith Jesus while we hopefully await Easter Sunday. We walk into the Confessional to celebrate Reconciliation with confidence in God’s mercy and forgiveness. Each of these is a way in which we trust in God’s promise of mercy and love.

We have a little over one week of Lent remaining. During this Holy Week let’s together instill our trust in the Lord. A friend told me that she “failed out of Lent” a couple weeks into it this year. Albeit a silly idea, it’s one many of us believe to some degree. But Lent is not a test to pass or fail. So as one Church let’s rededicate our focus on preparing ourselves with the trust that God will transform our sinful hearts during this Easter preparation.

by Sam Pierre
Creighton University's Alegent Creighton Hospital
click here for photo and information about the writer

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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