If We Only Knew The Gift Of God

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

Third Sunday of Lent

If We Only Knew The Gift of God

Keep this great grace you received from Me in the depth of your soul. It is a special gift of God. (Jesus) (May 4, 1962)

Today’s Readings: Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.” (John 4)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, today we read about the Samaritan Woman- so skeptical at first but by the end of the encounter she was a true believer. You showed her everything she ever did and yet You offered Her Your Living Water that she would never thirst again. Today, Lord, so many skeptical and stuck in poor decisions just like the Samaritan Woman. Will we open ourselves to Your Gift of Yourself or will we stay stuck where we are? Lord You thirst for us and nothing we have ever done can keep us from You- only we can keep ourselves from You. May we thirst always for the Living Water that will save our souls and the souls of all we love.

Week Two of Lent – Saturday, March 11th

The Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32)

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.

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!

Week Two of Lent – Friday, March 10th

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.”

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!

Week Two of Lent – Thursday, March 9th

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 who 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.

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.

Week Two of Lent – Wednesday, March 8th

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.

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 seed 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!

Week Two of Lent – Tuesday March 7th

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.

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) (March 4-7, 1962)

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.

Week Two of Lent – Monday, March 6th

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.

Good Gifts Will Be Given

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

Good Gifts Will Be Given

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.

Second Sunday of Lent – March 5th

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9)

Prayer:  

Jesus, take me up the mountain of prayer.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus in glory with his three apostles.

Context:

Peter has just proclaimed by faith that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Now, he and two others experience this truth as they see Jesus in glory. Immediately, Jesus speaks of his death on the cross where these same apostles will have great difficulty in seeing him as the Messiah.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John up a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before them. His face shone as the sun and his garments became white as snow.  Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with him. Peter said to Jesus, “It is good for us to be here. If you will, let us build three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.

As he was speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice out of the cloud said, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” The disciples fell on their face and were filled with fear. Jesus came, touched them and said, “Get up and do not fear.” Lifting up their eyes they saw no one, only Jesus.

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

  1. The mountain is the perfect place for prayer, far away from worldly distractions.
  2. What a privilege, to have Jesus lead you away so you can be with him.
  3. The vision has a fullness. Even Jesus’ garments become like snow.
  4. Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus who is the central figure.
  5. Peter is right. It is very good to enjoy Jesus’ presence and see his glory.
  6. There is more to come. The Heavenly Father takes control. 
  7. The Father makes it clear that Jesus is his beloved son and we must listen. 
  8. The experience overwhelms the apostles and they are unable to stand. Experiencing God will do that to you.
  9. When all is complete, they see only Jesus. They are changed forever.

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

  • Jesus, take me with you to the mountain of prayer.
  • Reveal your glory and capture my will.
  • How good it is to enjoy your presence!
  • Father, overshadow me and let me hear your voice.
  • Seeing your glory, Lord, I fall on my face.
  • Touch me. Tell me to rise. Come, I must walk with you.

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

+  I will be faithful to daily mental prayer.

+  I will obey the Father and listen to His Son.

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

Jesus took them up the mountain and was transfigured before them.

Rise And Do Not Be Afraid

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

Second Sunday of Lent

Rise and Do Not Be Afraid

Because your soul has been purified of the anguish of doubts, you now have been given the power to rise to the heavenly Father and be immersed in the delightful and joyful contemplation of the Holy Trinity. (Jesus) (October 23-24, 1963)

Today’s Readings: But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone. (Matthew 17)

Prayer Meditation- Lord today we meditate on the Transfiguration. Peter, John, and James see You in the Your Glory. Peter nervously tries to enter the conversation with You, the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) but really the Apostles are scared to death and have no idea what is going on. In so many ways, when faced with Your Glory and Your Majesty, we can be the same. And yet, You call us- Our God first and foremost but also Our Friend to rise and not be afraid especially in these turbulent times. You call us to be purified of doubt and fear and to rise to You in confidence and trust! Let us raise our eyes and see no one but You alone- reign in all the Earth Jesus!

Week One of Lent – Saturday, March 4th

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.

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!

Week One of Lent – Friday, March 3rd

Anger (Mt 5:20-26)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Let your gentleness overcome my anger.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to reconcile.

Context:

Jesus teaches a “greater goodness” which is demanded by the holiness of this new Kingdom. In this gospel, he compares the Old Testament teaching on anger and his new teaching. The disciples maintain unity by forgiving each other.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus taught the disciples about anger saying, “You have heard it said, ‘You shall not kill’ and ‘Whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of judgment. Whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raqa’ shall be in danger of the council. Whoever shall say ‘You fool’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

If you come to the altar to offer your gift and remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your offering before the altar and go first to be reconciled to your brother. Then come and offer your gift.”

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

  1. Jesus invites his disciples to live at a new level of goodness.
  2. The law commanded external compliance. Jesus goes much deeper, into the disciples’ hearts.
  3. His disciples must remove their inner anger. Then, discord will cease.
  4. He forbids angry words, so that hatred gains no foothold.
  5. Even the temple sacrifices must be delayed until the disciples reconcile.

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

  • Jesus, make me gentle.
  • Save me, O Lord, from the violent waters of anger.  
  • On the cross, you spoke no angry word. You were silent as a lamb going to the slaughter. 
  • Release a river of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation within me.
  • Reconcile me to all of my family and friends.
  • O Jesus, I will drink deeply of your forgiveness.

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

+  Today, I will forgive everyone who hurts me.

+  I will reconcile with my enemies wherever possible.

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

Leave your gift at the altar and go to be reconciled with your brother.

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!

Week One of Lent – Thursday, March 2nd

Confidence in Prayer (Mt 7:7-12)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me to ask and to seek and to knock. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching His disciples to have confidence in prayer.

Context:

God wants to bless you. First, he wants you to seek his blessings (so when you receive them you will thank God and grow in faith). Jesus uses three images (ask-receive; seek-find; knock-be opened) to assure you that God wants you to ask.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Ask and it will be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you.  Whoever asks, will receive. Whoever seeks, will find. To whomever knocks, it shall be opened.

What man among you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or, if he seeks fish, will give him a serpent? If you who are evil, give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give good things to those who ask?”

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

  1. To encourage you to ask, Jesus teaches that the Father always hears you.
  2. You need not compete for God’s prizes. He provides gifts for all his children. 
  3. Everyone who seeks, will find something.
  4. This teaching seems too good to be true. So, Jesus uses human examples.
  5. What earthly father would hand his child a stone or a serpent?
  6. Certainly, the Heavenly Father will never withhold good things from you.

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

  • You encourage me, Jesus. You urge me to ask.
  • O God, all your gifts are mine. I just need to ask and seek.
  • O heavenly Father, would you give me useless things, like a stone or a serpent?
  • Father, you hear me as if I were your only child.
  • O Father, You gave me Jesus. Will you withhold other blessings?
  • O Father, lavish your good things upon me.

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

+  I will fill this day with requests to my Heavenly Father.

+  I will think about the Father’s love for me.

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

How much more will the Heavenly Father give you good things.