Our Lenten Theme

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Our theme for Lent is renewal of our commitment to the practices of the Flame of Love. We must be sure this renewal rests upon the proper foundation – we do all for Love – love of our Lord and love of our brothers and sisters: “if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” I Cor 13:3
Only when our actions reach into our deepest longings and purpose – to love and be loved – will our commitment be sustainable. All we do, we do for love for, if we have become Jesus by the effect of grace, we have become Love for God IS Love.

Let us, in this series, re-examine the various aspects of this great devotion and particularly explore how they flow from the Flame of Love, not The Flame of Responsibility or the Flame of Saving Our Own Skin – yes, the Flame of Love who is Love Himself. May God make us an ever greater blessing for others during this season of Lent.

The Temple Of Our Souls

Today’s
Consuming Fire Meditation-Consuming Fire Meditations- A Daily Dose of the Flame
of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s Scriptures

Third Sunday of Lent

The Temple of Our Souls

Jesus: “Allow Me to start over asking and complaining. Think highly of Me because the Divine Love thinks highly of you and honors you. I confide in you so you can tell My complaints to others. O souls, love Me and reflect on all that I have done for you. I, the Man-God, plead with you with such simple words. It hurts Me that you so often offend Me. I am so abandoned. What hurts most is that consecrated souls set Me aside. They have no time to spend with Me. They devote their time to everything but to Me. O, you foolish ones! Every minute passes. The time that you devote to Me is never lost. It is saved for an eternity of infinite value. (Jesus) (October 9, 1964)

Today’s Readings: He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. (John 2)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, we can be so taken aback by this Gospel- it does not fit the picture we have of You, meek and humble of heart! But Lord, how often do we do that- put You in a box of our own design because we don’t want to face that there is indeed a marketplace in our own souls that needs a good housecleaning. The Temple was meant to be a house of prayer and due worship of The Living God- our own temples the same. Yet we set You aside and give time, talent, and treasure to everything but You. Time passes and what seemed so important will pass with us. Lord, help us to use this time wisely and live this Lent as if it were our last, so that what is not of You in our lives will be sent packing!

gold-colored cross table decor on top of brown wooden table

WEEK THREE OF LENT – SUNDAY – B – MARCH 7, 2021 THE CLEANSING IN THE TEMPLE (JN 2:13-25)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I will put no obstacles to your purifying action. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his whip confronting the temple leaders. 

Context:

All four gospels speak of this cleansing (therefore, it is an important event). John places it at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry and adds the important teaching that Jesus’ body is a temple which will be destroyed and rebuilt in three days.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Since the Jewish Passover was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple, he found those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, together with the money-changers. He made a whip and drove out the sheep and the oxen. He overturned the tables of the money-changers. 

He told those selling doves, “Take these away and do not make my Father’s house into a marketplace.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house consumes me.” 

The Jews asked him, “What sign can you show us that authorizes you to do these things? Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up.” The Jews said, “This temple took forty years to build, and you will raise it up in three days?” Actually, he was talking about his body. When he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered his words. They came to believe the scripture and the word that he spoke. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Jesus’ heart is sensitive to evil. 
  2. Seeing the buying and selling fills Him with anger. 
  3. Because of these deep feelings, He takes immediate action. 
  4. He thinks only of His Heavenly Father, giving no notice to how others might feel. 
  5. Overturning the tables and scattering the money symbolizes God destroying evildoers. 
  6. When Jesus is challenged, He prophecies His own resurrection. This supplies all the authority He needs. 
  7. These words mean so much to the disciples. By the Resurrection, they believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, give me a sensitive heart. 
  • Heavenly Father, awaken me to your desires. 
  • Jesus, destroy all evil in the temple of my heart. 
  • Make me a holy, purified temple. 
  • Jesus, your rising from the dead gives you all authority. 
  • You are Lord. You are Saviour. You are the only-begotten Son of God. 

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will allow Jesus to cast out all evil – in my thoughts, words and deeds. 

+ I will proclaim the risen Jesus as Lord of my life. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up. 

Alive Again

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

Alive Again

With my Flame of Love, I want to make the home come alive again with love. I want to unite families that are scattered. (Mary) (August 8, 1962)

 Today’s
Gospel: While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’ (Luke 15)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, today we meditate on Your Heart- the Heart of a Father. A Father who not only waits for us to repent but runs to us at the first sign of good will! And where is the Mother in this story- she is by Your Side, Mother and Queen interceding for us! Lord, You celebrate every lost sheep who is found- let us join our prayers to Yours Lord Jesus for all who are lost in this world that they would be alive again in You!

silhouette of man and kid

WEEK TWO OF LENT – SATURDAY – MARCH 6, 2021 THE PRODIGAL SON (Lk: 15:1-3, 11-32)

Prayer:

O Heavenly Father, let me never leave your house. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with His disciples. 

Context:

This is a “Parable of the Father’s Love” and is drawn from real life. Many young unmarried sons (under twenty) asked for their inheritance to leave Palestine and better themselves. This son, however, loses his money and returns home. The father’s response is not reasonable, but mirrors the way God treats us.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

A man had two sons. The younger said, “Father, give me my inheritance.” After gathering his things, he went to a distant country. However, he wasted his money by living recklessly. When he had lost everything, a famine broke out and the son got a job feeding pigs. He would like to have filled his belly with their food but no one gave him any. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. This scene happens so frequently. A young person grows dissatisfied and wants out. 
  2. This desire destroys the family support which he/she still need. 
  3. The son rejects the Father’s wisdom and soon his own wisdom fails him miserably. 
  4. The destructive power of sin destroys all that he has. 
  5. The result is total disaster. A privileged son has become a hungry swine herder. (The lowest of occupations). 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O God, how often my desire for liberty has led me to frightful decisions. 
  • Too often, O Lord, I have trusted my own wisdom. 
  • O Jesus, my unbridled passions have led me into problems. 
  • You allowed my situation to deteriorate. 
  • You abandoned me to my own whims, so I would face reality. 
  • Leaving your house, O Lord and choosing my own path have led me to the depths of darkness, even to depravity. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will recall all of my foolish decisions, taking full responsibility for what I have done. 

+ I will not blame God for my situation. I decided to leave his house. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.) 

He got a job feeding the swine. 

Collecting The Produce

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Friday of the Second Week of Lent

Collecting The Produce Your oil bearing seeds can only mature and produce abundant fruit in the rays of the Divine Sun. Try to serve Me even better. (Jesus) (October 4, 1962)

Today’s Readings: Hear another
parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. (Matthew 21)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, You have given each of us a vineyard, You have given us all that we need to produce good fruit in our souls. And You have every right to collect our produce at any time at a time unknown to us. But will we be ready or are we fighting Your Grace as if You have no right to the vineyard of our souls. Lord, we do not own our vineyards, they belong to You! Lord, our fruit can only mature in the rays of Your Divine Sun in our lives. Lord, help us to serve You and to be ready when You call, building our lives on the Cornerstone of Your Love!

selective focus photography of sunflower during golden hour

WEEK TWO OF LENT – FRIDAY – MARCH 5, 2021 TAKING AWAY THEIR VINEYARD (MT 21:33-43)

Prayer:

O Lord, you have given me everything. Make me a faithful tenant. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his disciples and his opponents. 

Context:

Jesus spoke this parable in Jerusalem when the chief priests and elders questioned his authority. The parable fitted their situation. The tenants are the Jewish religious leaders. The vineyard is Israel. The servants already rejected are the Old Testament prophets. The son, of course, is Jesus. By rejecting the son (killing him on the cross), the religious leaders will lose their authority.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus said, “There was a man who planted a vineyard, put a hedge, dug a vat and erected a tower. He rented it to tenants and went on a journey. When the harvest came he sent his servants to the tenants to receive his share. The tenants beat one, killed another and stoned another. He sent more servants and they did the same. Finally, he sent his son, thinking, “They will respect my son.” 

Seeing the son, the tenants said, “This is the heir. Let us kill him and we shall own the vineyard.” So they killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the Lord of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” 

They answered, “He will bring those evil men to an evil end and will give the vineyard to those who will give him grapes at vintage time.” Jesus said, “For this reason I say that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who will yield a rich harvest. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Notice the zeal and care of the owner for his vineyard. He plants a vineyard and builds a hedge, a vat and a tower. 
  2. The owner only wanted his share of the grapes. 
  3. The messengers just bring the owner’s words – to give them what is his due. 
  4. The owner is patient even when the tenants kill his servants. 
  5. He gives them another chance deciding to even risk his son to restore the right relationship. 
  6. The tenants want the whole vineyard and are willing to kill the son to get it. 
  7. Instead of gaining the vineyard, they are cast out. 
  8. The vineyard is taken away and given to others. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, you have done everything for me. You created me. You came to earth for me. You died for me. 
  • O Lord, you have a right to my praise, to my life, to everything. It is yours. 
  • O Lord, when you send your messengers, let me accept them. When you speak in my heart, let me listen. 
  • How patient you are, O Lord, waiting, always waiting until I turn to you. 
  • Father, you sent your only Son to me, even at the cost of His life. 
  • I give you everything. All that is yours is mine. You have done everything for me. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.) 

+ I will give God every Sunday. The day belongs to him. 

+ I will listen to the church and to God’s voice within me. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Finally, He sent his son, thinking, “Surely, they will respect my son.” 

Only His Love Remains

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Only His Love Remains

Why do you prefer some passing goal? Do you not trust the value of sufferings? I give value to your sufferings and it causes Me sorrow if you do not appreciate them. (Jesus) (August 16, 1962)

Today’s Readings :Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. (Jeremiah 17)

Prayer Meditation: O Lord, we put our faith is so many passing things- work, health, family, our country. And yet all things will pass- only Your Love remains. We are pilgrims. and one way or another, we will suffer loss, pain, and grief in this world. However, united with Your Love we are like the tree planted beside the still waters of Your Grace and we will not fear.

green leaf tree on shore

WEEK TWO OF LENT – THURSDAY – MARCH 4, 2021 The Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31)

Prayer:

O Lord, awaken me by this warning. Do not let me be like the foolish brothers. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching the crowds. 

Context:

Judaism believed that riches proved God’s favor and that poverty proved sinfulness. Jesus reveals the true picture which shocks his audience. The rich man goes to hell while Lazarus enjoys the highest honor of being at Abraham’s side. 

This sets the stage for this parable of the six brothers (its real name). The rich man sees clearly that his five brothers are in danger. However, his brothers are like foolish men with no thought of the impending judgment. They do not listen to the Church and its preaching.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

A rich man feasted sumptuously every day. At his gates sat Lazarus, a beggar filled with sores. He desired only the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table but no one gave them. It happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried in hell. He lifted his eyes and saw Abraham afar off with Lazarus at his side. 

He cried out, Father Abraham, “Let Lazarus come and refresh me with some water.” Abraham replied, “Remember that you received good things in life and Lazarus received evil things. Now he is comforted and you are tormented. Besides, there is a great abyss between us and no one can pass from one side to another.” 

The rich man said, “Then send Lazarus back to earth to preach to my five brothers, so they do not come to this place of torment.” Abraham said, “Let them listen to Moses and the prophets.” The rich man said, “If someone risen from the dead told them, they would do penance.” Abraham said, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not listen to one risen from the dead.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Lazarus is used only to highlight the problem of the six brothers, one dead and five living. 
  2. The dead brother realizes how important repentance is. Without penance, his five brothers will all join him in hell. 
  3. They have the normal helps (the teachings of Moses and the prophets) but the rich man realizes that they won’t use those helps. 
  4. He pleads for Lazarus to be a risen-from-the-dead preacher, to whom they will certainly listen. 
  5. However, Jesus is already risen from the dead and most do not listen even now. 
  6. The parable challenges us to respond to the Gospel that is preached to us every day. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, while I am here on earth, I am free to choose. 
  • When my life is over, I will have made my choice. 
  • Right now, I decide to repent, to change and to have you as my Lord. 
  • I do not need an extraordinary preacher. I need only your word. 
  • You are risen. You preach to me. You speak within. You call. You shout. I must hush all the other voices so I can hear you. 
  • Someday, Jesus, I will be in heaven or in hell. Guide my free will. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will read God’s word with urgency. 

+ I will believe that God wants to welcome me into his Kingdom. 

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation.) 

Lazarus was carried by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. 

Drinking The Chalice

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Drinking The Chalice

Look at the plants in your garden, they always climb and try to reach higher. Their flowers wither quickly, but soon new ones open up. The withering of the flower does not show its uselessness because the chalice of withered flowers contains the fertile seed which reproduces the plant. You understand, do you not? If there were no battle, what would then give value to things? Always try to go higher. Do not feel sorry for the withered chalices in your flowers. (Jesus) (June 29, 1964)

Today’s Readings: Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” (Matthew 20)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, today we read in the Gospel about a mother and two disciples that are really no different from us. We follow You and we anticipate glory, and rightfully so, but we confuse earthly glory with Heaven. Lord, You came to serve and not to be served. You came to suffer and die for us- there is no way to Heaven except through the Cross. So, can we drink the chalice You have for us- knowing that the withered chalices of life contain the fertile seeds of new life. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a grain of wheat but if it dies it bears much fruit (John 12:24). Lord, increase our faith, hope and trust that drinking the chalice You have for us would be not bitter but sweet in union with You!

purple flower in tilt shift lens

WEEK TWO OF LENT – WEDNESDAY – MARCH 3, 2021 AMBITIOUS JAMES AND JOHN (Mt. 20:17-28)

Prayer:

Come Holy Spirit. Reveal the glory you have prepared. 

Imagination:

Picture James and John seeking favors from Jesus.

Context:

Jesus has just told the apostles that He would come in glory. With great ambition, James and John want that glory. Before granting any glory, Jesus must enter into His Messianic glory by drinking the cup. This cup means both His suffering and the Eucharistic cup celebrated in Mark’s Church. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

The mother of James and John came to Jesus, accompanied by her sons. Jesus asked “What is it that you want?” She answered, “Promise me that these sons of mine will sit, one on your right hand and the other on your left hand in your Kingdom.” Jesus replied, “You do not know what you are seeking. Can you drink of the chalice that I will drink?” They said, “We can.” Jesus said, “You shall indeed drink of the chalice that I drink of. However, to sit on my right hand or my left hand, is not mine to give you. It is for those for whom it has been reserved by my Father.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. These apostles have no idea of the costs of the Kingdom’s glory. 
  2. Jesus tells them that they seek what they do not understand. 
  3. Even with this warning, they glibly say that they can drink the chalice. 
  4. Jesus sees the future. After many failures, they will drink the chalice and will be martyred. 
  5. The highest glory, however, is reserved for others. 
  6. Such is the Kingdom! God has already prepared each one’s place and His decisions are beyond our comprehension. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, enlighten me about the greatness of your Kingdom. 
  • Pull me into the great mystery of your will. 
  • Help me to drink your chalice. 
  • O Jesus, You have prepared my place in glory. 
  • O Jesus, Your only desire is to share your glory with me. 
  • You have already made me so many promises. 

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will find time for mental prayer so God can reveal the Kingdom to me. 

+ I will cherish God’s will, both on earth and in heavenly glory. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.) 

The Father has already decided my place in heavenly glory. 

Purify Our Intentions

Today’s
Consuming Fire Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up
with Today’s Scriptures

Tuesday of the Second Week of
Lent

Purify Our Intentions

My little one, do not be overwhelmed. Live hidden in great humility .Except for a few persons, no one should know about you.(Jesus) (Full Diary Page 46)

Today’s Readings: All their works are performed
to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ (Matthew 23)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, we who follow You may find ourselves in many ministries and activities to the point of exhaustion, but who are we really serving? No one wants to admit it, but are we doing what we do to be seen? Yet, Lord, You do Your Work through the humble and the hidden. Lord, many of the things we do may be good but are they about the one thing necessary (Luke 11)? Lord, all of our works are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) if You are not in them- purify our intentions that we would serve You in true humility.

Willow Tree woman carrying baby figurine

WEEK TWO OF LENT – TUESDAY – MARCH 2, 2021 THE HYPOCRISY OF THE PHARISEES: (Mt: 23:1-12)

Prayer:

O Jesus, give me the heart of a servant. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus instructing His disciples in humility. 

Context:

Jesus does not criticize the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees (although he alludes to moral rigorism) but he condemns their practices of seeking honor and gaining titles. Jesus wants his disciples to serve others and to take the last place.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus told the crowds and his disciples, “The scribes and Pharisees sit on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do all that they say but do not follow their example. For they bind heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they do not lift a finger to help them. 

They do all their works to be seen by men. They widen their phylacteries and wear huge tassels. They love first places at feasts and first place in the synagogues. They like to be greeted in the marketplace and be called ‘Rabbi.’ You are to avoid the title ‘Rabbi.’ Only one among you is the teacher. The rest are learners. 

Do not all call anyone on earth ‘Father.’ Only one is your Father, the One in heaven. Avoid being called ‘Teacher.’ Only one is your teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you is the one who serves the rest. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. By hypocrisy, a person professes a belief that they do not live out. 
  2. Jesus despises this false devotion and provides many concrete examples. 
  3. The Pharisees place burdens on people and offer no help. 
  4. They seek praise of others and places of honor. 
  5. They seek titles and superiority. 
  6. They distance themselves and refuse to serve. 
  7. Only Jesus Christ is your master. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I will live my devout life in truth. 
  • I will place everyone in my heart and be a servant to all. 
  • I will love the other disciples and we will be a true sign to the world. 
  • I will seek no worldly glory, especially in my devout community. 
  • You, alone, are my Christ, my Master, my Lord. 
  • Do not let me ruin your work. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Today, I will serve others. 

+ I will avoid all ostentatious behavior so the Gospel can spread. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

The greatest among you must be the servant of all. 

There Is No Condemnation In Christ Jesus

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Monday of the Second Week of Lent

There is No Condemnation in Christ
Jesus

Let this be the supreme goal of your lives, the most valuable gift that you can bring to Me. Take advantage of every opportunity and every means to save souls. Work at it! Remember what you once read: ‘If each Christian would save just one soul, no one would be lost.’” (Jesus) (January 15, 1964)

Today’s
Readings: “Stop
judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.” (Luke 6)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, how often it is that we judge and we condemn. We do this even in our own families. We forget that we are not the judge- You are the judge. How often, because of our own anxiety, fears, worries, we feel like it is up to us to singlehandedly save our family members totally apart from You. There is no condemnation in You (Romans 8:1) but there is plenty in us. Lord instead of judging, arguing, and cajoling let us unite our desires for our loved ones with Yours and take advantage of every means to save souls- prayer and fasting most of all! Help us to give ourselves for Your Cause so that blessings would flow to our families because You will never refuse to hear prayers for the conversion of sinners.

person holding white printer paper

WEEK TWO OF LENT – MONDAY – MARCH 1, 2021 COMPASSIONATE AS THE FATHER (LK 6:36-38)

Prayer:

Father, fill me with your compassion. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.

Context:

After teaching about loving enemies, Jesus concludes with “Be compassionate as the heavenly Father.” He then stresses the need not to judge others. This will determine what will be measured out to the disciples.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus said to his disciples, “Be merciful as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you shall not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. If you forgive, you will be forgiven. 

Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together, flowing over into the fold of your garment. By the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured out to you.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. How merciful the Father is. That is how merciful the disciple must be. 
  2. If we do not judge, God does not need to judge us. 
  3. To be forgiven by God, we need only to forgive others. 
  4. Jesus uses the example of buying grain at the marketplace. 
  5. The seller fills the basket and presses down so he can give even more. 
  6. Finally, he shakes the basket so every inch is filled with grain. This is how a disciple should give. 
  7. People also carried grain in their apron. Jesus promises that his blessing will “flow over the fold of the garment.” 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I will approach every person with a merciful and compassionate heart. 
  • O Lord, you make so many promises and all of them are true. 
  • If I forgive others, you will forgive me. 
  • Such a great reward for such a little effort! 
  • Fill me, Lord. Press your favors into my heart. 
  • Shake me so you can fill me even more. 
  • O Jesus, I give you little and you give me much. 
  • My heart overflows, incapable of receiving all you give. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ask Jesus to make me a generous person. 

+ Today, I will see who needs my compassion and forgiveness. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Give and it will be given to you in full measure. 

Second Week of Lent – Fasting and Blanding of Meals

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” – author unknown . . . but probably an Italian grandmother

As someone with an Italian mother who I still think is the best Italian cook in the world, I have some experience with this saying 🙂 But although we think of it in the world of romance, it is quite helpful in the world of spirituality. How we approach food in our lives can give us great insight into the state of our hearts. Consequently food, both its quantity (fasting) and taste are parts of the Flame of Love devotion.

We must be careful to be neither lax nor obsessed about this topic. Here is the key: make your food about loving others. How do we normally decide what to eat or not eat? We eat what we want for ourselves – for our pleasure and our health. Like most things, our decision revolves around ourselves – just like choosing what we wear, how we spend our money, and how we spend our time. The effect of grace of our Blessed Mother’s Flame of Love turns this upside down. In complete union with Jesus by the power of grace, our lives are now completely poured out for others including what we choose to eat or not eat, what to wear, how we spend our money, and how we spend our time.

In the Diary, we are encouraged to fast and we are encouraged to make our meals tasteless:

Jesus: “I want you to increase your fasts if you accept. Do not give yourself to any pleasure. Let your breakfast and your afternoon meal be bread and water. You can have other foods only at your principal meal, but make them tasteless. Do not eat to please your taste but only to nourish your body.”

Spiritual Diary p.41

But why? If we fast and bland our meals only as a matter of discipline, it may give us mastery of our senses and build a sense of personal detachment but it is largely devoid of spiritual power. How subtly we can fall into spiritual selfishness, doing things for our own salvation or even spiritual pride. Rather, let us do these out of love. It is love for our Lord as we allow Him to continue His life of redemptive sacrifice in us – choosing union with Him over our own pleasure. It is love for our brothers and sisters because we may offer these voluntary sacrifices for their salvation as Jesus offered His voluntary sacrifices for their salvation. Love drives our fasting and our blanding of meals – not discipline, not guilt, not obligation. Make your food about loving others.

At the risk of being lengthy for a reflection, let’s explore this as it is essential to our spiritual health. We often receive questions about what fasting do we have to do as part of the devotion. The Diary mentions fasting on bread and water on Monday, Thursday, and Friday as well as blanding all meals. Asking what we have to do may quickly set us on the wrong path. Christians should not generally be asking what must I do but rather, what can I do. This takes us from the realm of obligation to the realm of love.

It could be you should not fast at all. Maybe you are diabetic. Maybe you have an incredibly physically demanding job where you will put people at risk if you are faint from hunger. Maybe you have a constitution and life that allow you to fast almost every day as an offering for others. This approach of what can I do in love rather than what am I obligated to do does two important things:

  1. It banishes guilt. If you sincerely are offering your life for others and cannot fast, do not feel guilty. Just make your food about loving others.
  2. It makes the sky the limit for what you can do if you are able. You are not limited by fixed amount of fasting (though you should be limited by wisdom). Just make your food about loving others.

Some have asked if the Thursday and Friday fasts were for Elizabeth or for everyone. Not wanting to assume I could definitively understand the Diary without the oral tradition, I asked Győző Kindelmann, our International Director and Elizabeth’s grandson. He replied:

Jesus gave Elizabeth a task of atonement and prayer every day of the week, which includes lot of fasting (April 10, 1962). However, this strict daily agenda was not obligatory for her either! The Lord said about this: “Come, if you have time. If this is too much, just let me know, please. The will is yours, I have great respect for that. ” Therefore, we should also, only undertake as much as we can, not to have a detrimental effect on our work or harm our health. In any event, members of the Flame of Love Movement are recommended to take on some form of fasting or self-restraint (self denial) at least 1 day a week. According to the tradition of the Church, Friday is the most common day of fasting.

So we come back to where we began. We do not fast for obligation. We do not fast to some minimum requirement. We fast as we can, guided by wisdom, not asking how much do I have to fast but rather how much can I fast. It’s simple. Stop eating or not eating according to what you want. Make your food about loving others. Indeed, our stomachs can tell us much about our hearts!

p56: Jesus: “My little one, get rid of anything that gives taste to your meals. Only in this way, will I be your guest. What is tasty for you is tasteless for Me. I ask you, therefore, that if you invite Me, seek what pleases Me.”

p163: During lunch, it was very difficult to make my meal tasteless. So, I decided to eat one half and to make tasteless the other half. Our Lord sadly observed.
Jesus: “I accepted sufferings without a thought and I saved you from all your sins, not just from some. Do not be stingy. May our hands gather in unity.”

p166: Today is my fast day for the priestly souls. The Savior has asked me to fast each Monday on bread and water to free a priest soul from purgatory. Although the fast weakens me, I can do my housework and help with the children.

p84: The Lord Jesus asked me to write especially about how we can help souls.
Jesus: “By observing the fast I ask for, priests will be freed from purgatory on the eighth day after their death.”

p98: While He was speaking to me, I got out my little lunch. On Thursday and Friday, at the Lord’s request, I eat only bread and water, and I offer it for the twelve priests and to make reparation to the Lord. Meanwhile, the Lord sat – in a spiritual way – next to me and said:
Jesus: “Oh, how this pleases Me. So few times have I enjoyed participating in such an intimate banquet. The souls that make reparation and faithfully follow My desires are so few.”
Jesus: “May our souls be in harmony. In this way, our hands will gather in unity.”

Flame of Love Basics Series: Fasts
Flame of Love Basics Series: Blanding of Meals

Giving Everything

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Second Sunday of Lent

Giving Everything

Jesus: “I am the great Donor of blood. By virtue of My Divine Blood, you can be divinized. Can you understand that? Truly, it is difficult. I am the sole Donor of blood in the whole world. Permeate yourself with My love, My almighty love. Meditate on that now in the light of My holy brightness. Can’t you feel this Precious Blood? My Precious Blood warms up and sets into motion the frozen, paralyzed energy of your souls. I am pouring it out and will continue to pour it in all the men in the entire world inasmuch as they submit to the holy treatment of My Divine Hand. (Jesus) (January 16, 1964)

Today’s Readings: Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? (Romans 8)

Prayer Meditation- Lord today’s readings are all about giving everything- of not being afraid of sacrifice, of not being afraid of letting go of even our deepest attachments if it is for Your Glory! We are called to be like Abraham- trusting and obedient, but how difficult that can be for most of us. But Lord, if You are for us, who can be against us, You who gave us everything so that what is frozen and paralyzed in our lives would become transfigured and glorious, thanks to Your Precious Blood shed for us!

gold and silver round decor

WEEK TWO OF LENT SUNDAY – B – FEBRUARY 28, 2021 THE TRANSFIGURATION (Mk 9:2-10)

Prayer:

O Jesus, take me up the mountain of your glory. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus on the mountain with his three apostles. 

Context:

Peter has just proclaimed in faith “You are the Messiah.” In this text, he and two other apostles have an experience which verifies that truth. They see Jesus, changed in appearance, clothed in heavenly glory. The Father speaks, just as he did at Jesus’ Baptism. These three disciples will be closest to Jesus in the Garden prayer.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before them and his clothes became dazzlingly white. Elijah appeared to them along with Moses and they spoke with Jesus. Peter said, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Elijah and one for Moses.” However, he did not really know what to say for he was filled with fear. 

A cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them, only Jesus. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. To bestow this overwhelming experience, Jesus leads the apostles to the mountain’s solitude. 
  2. When they see Jesus’ heavenly glory, they cannot function normally. 
  3. Jesus is the central figure. Moses and Elijah are at his side. 
  4. The events overwhelm Peter. He rightly exclaims, “It is good to be here.” 
  5. The cloud paralyzes them. They are completely attentive to the Father’s words, “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to him.” 
  6. When the vision is over, they see only Jesus. All blessings are placed in him. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Lord, invite me to the mountain of prayer. 
  • O Jesus, Your glory overwhelms my poor faculties. They cannot grasp your light. 
  • You, O Lord, are the center of all history. 
  • Burn your Father’s words into my soul. “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him.” 
  • Jesus, I will see you in heaven. 

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will find a moment today to climb the mountain of prayer. 

+ I will value the riches which Christ offers to me. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Jesus took them up the mountain so he could reveal his glory. 

Perfected In Love

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Saturday
of the First Week of Lent

Perfected
In Love

If we refer to the Flame of Love, the Lord Jesus will enlighten our intellect to know what we must do, for example, how we can choose between two things and which is the most perfect and represents the Will of God. (Elizabeth) (July 11, 1975)

Today’s
Readings: And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, it just seems natural- we prefer those who like us and tend to avoid those who don’t. These people can even be among our loved ones at times- how many times do we avoid family members who criticize us. Perfect love just seems like some kind of ideal we will never reach. And yet You do not ask us to be perfect to set us up for failure. You really mean we can love those who hate us and persecute us- Lord it is in Your Love and Love alone that we can be perfected. Lord Jesus enlighten our minds and our hearts that we would always choose Your Will and not ours so that we would be perfected in love this Lenten season!

Love firework display

LENT – SATURDAY – FEBRUARY 27, 2021 LOVE YOUR ENEMIES (MT 5:43-48)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Make me perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus asking the disciples to imitate the Father. 

Context:

Jesus continually demands that his disciples show goodness towards enemies. They must act as children of a heavenly Father. At the end Jesus reveals his goal. He wants the disciples to be as perfect as the heavenly Father.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

You have heard it said, “You shall love your neighbor but hate your enemy.” I say to you “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you and insult you. In this way, you can be children of your heavenly Father. He makes the sun rise on the good and the bad. He makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust. 

If you love those who love you, what reward shall you have? Do not even sinners do this? If you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not even the pagans do that? You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.) 

  1. Jesus calls you to the height of holiness. 
  2. He asks you to love everyone and to exclude all hatred. 
  3. He offers you the highest reward. You will be a child of the heavenly Father. 
  4. Look at how God acts. He sends his sun and his rain on everyone, good or bad. 
  5. Jesus wants you to act in the same way. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.) 

  • Jesus, lead me to your heights of holiness. 
  • O Jesus, give me a new way to live. 
  • Let your love cast out all my hatred. 
  • Make me a child of the heavenly Father. 
  • I will shower my love and my forgiveness upon everyone. 
  • You call me to be perfect as the Father. I will begin right now. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.) 

+ I will let everyone into my heart this day. 

+ I will remove my hatred and critical spirit. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

Every Little Prison

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Friday of the First Week of Lent

Every Little Prison

All can work for Me, the free man and the one suffering in prison. What is important is the availability of the soul and the spiritual freedom which constitutes the culture of the soul. (Jesus) (May 24, 1963)

Today’s
Readings: Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5)

Prayer Meditation- Lord today we read how if we are angry, if we are holding onto resentments and unforgiveness and do not let them go there is only one place for us- prison. Because the prison is not as we imagine it, Your judgement of us over every failure, but we put ourselves in prison when we do not settle quickly with opponents even if it is just forgiveness in our own hearts. So many of us think we are free, but we are really suffering in the prisons of our own making. Lord, help us today to forgive all and let us leave resentment at the foot of the cross so that our souls will be fully available for the spiritual freedom You died to give each one of us!

woman spreading her arms