• Father Michael J. Truong Luan Nguyen C.Ss. R.

40 ACTS OF REPENTANCE WITH PRIESTS - DAY 10


Introduction

Lent is here. It begins with our Lord Jesus Christ submitting himself under the prophetic call to repentance from his cousin, John, the Baptist, and allowing himself to be submerged in the water of the Jordan river for the ritual baptism, a commitment to convert and render his life to God.

We see the heavens opening up, the Holy Spirit descending upon him in the form of a dove; and we hear the gentle voice of God, the Father, declaring: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

God the Father loves Jesus and declares to all creation of His love for His only-begotten Son. In so doing God the Father also declares His love for you. God loves you and He loves you first; that’s why He sent Jesus to you. So “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Love is the motif and the motivation for all that Jesus does for us. He loves God, the Father, and thus enters into this world to live, suffer and die for us. He reveals to us not only through His stories and examples, but also by His life and death, the love of God the Father reserved for us from all eternity.

The very first act of love Jesus wants to show us is fasting. He enters into the desert with the Holy Spirit for forty days and forty nights to confront His own human weaknesses and the Devil. He endures hunger and thirst, the lonely life in the howling desert and the assaults of the Devil. He fasts, He prays and He trusts in the Word of His Father. This is to show us how to repent and render to God what belongs to Him.

Following Jesus’ footsteps we are called to embark in this pilgrimage of forty days of Lent. With Jesus we listen to the loving voice of God, the Father; we do penance and deny ourselves. The following meditations are 40 straight-forward acts of repentance to help you look back and re-examine your own life with Jesus.

Let us take this pilgrimage of repentance to pray for our Catholic Church, especially for our priests.

O Mary, Queen of the Apostles: Walk with us on this pilgrimage.

Let us pray.

Grant us, O Lord, to begin our Christian warfare with holy fasts; that as we are about to do battle with the spirits of evil we may be defended by the aid of self-denial and the protecting gaze of our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

DAY 10

Give alms

Do you realize that you have already spent ten days in the desert with Jesus? Do you realize that this is the tenth day Jesus has gone without food or drink? The hunger is getting louder; the thirst is screaming out for water. They are begging the Lord to have pity on them. “Please feed me,” says the hunger. “Please, give me water,” begs the thirst.

Do you feel what the Lord feels? You may be ten days into Lent, but are you still with the Lord? Do you feel His hunger? Do you feel His thirst? Do you see His needs? Where are you now?

What does the Lord need? Charity. This is the heart of Christianity. It is all about charity.

St. Augustine once said, “If you see charity, you see the Trinity” (De Trinitate, VIII, 8, 12:CCL 50, 287). The righteous deed that defines us as true Christians is charity.

Do you realize that when you give alms, you are doing the work of charity? Do you know that you are making the Holy Trinity visible to the world?

But let us return to the desert with Jesus. When you are hungry and thirsty for ten consecutive days, there is no time to think about proving anything. Either you get something or you don’t. When you get nothing, your only option is hope. You wait for someone to show you mercy and you keep begging.

When you feel Christ and see His needs in every poor person, as your own needs, you will do something. It’s time to give.

Take a deep breath…. Thank God for giving us this breath of fresh air. Take another one for free…. Remember Who gives it to you.

Let us pray for all priests to be generous in showing mercy and active in the work of charity.

O Mary, Queen of the Apostles: Make your priests generous in showing mercy and active in the work of charity.

#40ACTSOFREPENTANCEWITHPRIESTS #FrMichael

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