Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Meditations for Lent…

Father John J. Lombardi

"Delay not your conversion to the Lord."
Sir 5: 8…

PRAYER OF FR. ARRUPE, SJ: NOTHING IS MORE PRACTICAL: "Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything."

Inspiration from Dionysius "the Aereopagite (Fourth Cent. Spiritual Writer): "It is divine providence which maintains everything, divinizes everything, illuminates everything--by its perfect goodness it penetrates everything and sustains everything; it enflames everything with a fire of desire for unity with the divinity that is the source and origin; it draws one above all things, this providence which is more exalted and higher than everything that finds its delight in communion with it. For this divinity which is in us …has been sown into the foundations of all that is created, and works there in a way that is not delimited. In fact it is written: 'In Him we live, we receive our movement, and we exist'"…

LITANY OF HUMILITY: O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me./From the desire of being esteemed,/R=Deliver me, O Jesus. From the desire of being loved,/R; From the desire of being extolled,/R; From the desire of being honored,/R; From the desire of being praised,/R; From the desire of being preferred to others,/R; From the desire of being consulted,/R; From the desire of being approved,/R; From the fear of being humiliated,/R; From the fear of being despised,/R; From the fear of suffering rebukes,/R; From the fear of being calumniated,/R; From the fear of being forgotten,/R; From the fear of being ridiculed,/R; From the fear of being wronged,/R; From the fear of being suspected,/R. That others may be loved more than I, R=Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. That others may be esteemed more than I,/R; That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,/R; That others may be chosen and I set aside,/R; That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,/R; That others may be preferred to me in everything,/R; That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,/R…

Dying and Rising: "I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live no longer I, but Christ lives in me." (Gal. 2:19-20)

Litany in Honor of the Holy Cross The word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18)

R=God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14) Jesus has many who love His Kingdom in heaven, but few who bear His Cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share His feast, but few His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few are willing to suffer for His sake/R. Why do you fear to take up the Cross, which is the road to the Kingdom? In the Cross is salvation and life, protection against our enemies, infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind, joy of spirit, excellence of virtue, perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross/R. Take up the Cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and go forward into eternal life. Christ has gone before you, bearing His Cross; He died for you on the Cross, that you also may bear your cross, and desire to die on the Cross with Him. For if you die with Him, you will also live with Him. And if you share his sufferings, you will also share His glory/R, See how in the Cross all things consist, and in dying on it all things depend. There is no other way to life and to true inner peace, than the way of the Cross. Go where you will, seek what you will; you will find no higher way above nor safer way below than the road of the Holy Cross/R. The Cross always stands ready, and everywhere awaits you. You cannot escape it, wherever you flee; for wherever you go, you bear yourself, and always find yourself. Look up or down, without you or within, and everywhere you will find the Cross. And everywhere you must have patience, if you wish to attain inner peace, and win an eternal crown/R. All: Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us to follow you not only to the Breaking of Bread but also to the drinking of the Cup of Your Passion. Help us to love You for Your own sake and not for the sake of comfort for ourselves. Make us worthy to suffer for Your name, Jesus, our Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior, now and forever. Amen. (from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, 1380-1471) Who is the most important Person in the world Who is not known or Loved (enough)? The Holy Spirit. Get to know and love Him more this Lent…

Litany of the Holy Spirit:

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Father all powerful, have mercy on us. Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us. Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us. Holy Trinity, hear us. Holy Ghost, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts. Holy Ghost, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.

Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us. Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us Author of all good, have mercy on us.

Source of heavenly water, have mercy on us. Consuming fire, have mercy on us. Ardent charity, have mercy on us. Spiritual unction, have mercy on us. Spirit of love and truth, have mercy on us. Spirit of wisdom and understanding, have mercy on us. Spirit of counsel and fortitude, have mercy on us. Spirit of knowledge and piety, have mercy on us. Spirit of the fear of the Lord, have mercy on us. Spirit of grace and prayer, have mercy on us. Spirit of peace and meekness, have mercy on us. Spirit of modesty and innocence, have mercy on us. Holy Ghost, the Comforter, have mercy on us. Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, have mercy on us. Holy Ghost, Who governest the Church, have mercy on us. Gift of God, the Most High, have mercy on us. Spirit Who fillest the universe, have mercy on us. Spirit of the adoption of the children of God, have mercy on us. Holy Ghost, inspire us with horror of sin. Holy Ghost, come and renew the face of the earth. Holy Ghost, shed Thy light in our souls. Holy Ghost, engrave Thy law in our hearts. Holy Ghost, inflame us with the flame of Thy love. Holy Ghost, open to us the treasures of Thy graces. Holy Ghost, teach us to pray well. Holy Ghost, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations. Holy Ghost, lead us in the way of salvation. Holy Ghost, grant us the only necessary knowledge. Holy Ghost, inspire in us the practice of good. Holy Ghost, grant us the merits of all virtues. Holy Ghost, make us persevere in justice. Holy Ghost, be Thou our everlasting reward. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, send us Thy Holy Ghost. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety. V. Come, Holy Ghost! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Let Us Pray.

Grant, 0 merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth forever and ever. R. Amen.

Memorize the following classical prayer. Especially focus on a "firm purpose of amendment"-really changing your faults and sins which are habits. God gives Mercy and Grace.


My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,

I have sinned against You Whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Amen.

Counsels from St John of the Cross…Many blessings flow when the four natural passions (joy, hope, fear and sorrow) are in harmony and at peace. The following maxims contain a complete method for mortifying and pacifying them. If put into practice these maxims will give rise to abundant merit and great virtues…Endeavor to be inclined always: not to the easiest, but to the most difficult; not to the most delightful, but to the most distasteful; not to the most gratifying, but to the less pleasant; not to what means rest for you, but to hard work; not to the consoling, but to the unconsoling; not to the most, but to the least; not to the highest and most precious, but to the lowest and the most despised; not to wanting something, but to wanting nothing. Do not go about looking for the best of temporal things, but for the worst, and, for Christ, desire to enter into complete nakedness, emptiness, and poverty in everything in the world. You should embrace these practices earnestly and try to overcome the repugnance of your will toward them. If you sincerely put them into practice with order and discretion, you will discover in them great delight and consolation."

Okay, last thoughts: When was your last Confession? What good deeds are you doing for Jesus and His people? How are you avoiding the glamour and seductions of evil? And three words: for meditation: Love/be loved.

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi