Blessed Ash Wednesday to you and yours! If you're in need of some extra inspiration at the beginning of this holy (but difficult) season, or you just like good quotes, this post is for you. Below are a few (JUST a few) of my favorite quotes and prayers for Lent. I make no apologies that most of them are from Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's writings.
“The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help.” -Benedict XVI
"Lent is a journey, it means accompanying Jesus as He travels to Jerusalem, the place where the mystery of His Passion, Death and Resurrection is to be fulfilled. It reminds us that Christian life is a 'road' to be travelled, consisting not so much in a law to be observed as in the person of Christ Himself, Who must be encountered, welcomed and followed" - Benedict XVI
“Pain is part of being human. Anyone who really wanted to get rid of suffering would have to get rid of love before anything else, because there can be no love without suffering, because it always demands an element of self-sacrifice, because... it will always bring with it renunciation and pain.” -Joseph Ratzinger
“You honor this altar indeed, because it receives Christ’s body -at the Eucharist]. But the poor man, who himself is the body of Christ, you treat with scorn...You can see this altar lying around everywhere, both in streets and in marketplaces, and you can sacrifice upon it every hour [by almsgiving].” -St. John Chrysostom
“It would be easier to sacrifice some big thing to God, to impose some hard rule upon ourselves, than to say: ‘Do what you like with me.’” -Caryll Houselander, Reed of God
"Joy alone is the mother of sacrifice, because sacrifice is not reasonable if it is not attracted by the beauty of the truth. It is beauty—“the splendor of the truth”—which calls us to sacrifice." -Fr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation
Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor, and the face of God will not be turned away from you. If you have many possessions, make your gift from them in proportion; if few, do not be afraid to give according to the little you have. So you will be laying up a good treasure for yourself against the day of necessity. For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps you from going into the Darkness.” -Tobit 4:7b-10
“But you, dearly beloved, who have believed the promise of the Lord with your whole heart, flee the foul leprosy of avarice and make a holy and wise use of God’s gifts.” -Pope St. Leo the Great
“Our entire lives are like [Jacob’s] long night of struggle and prayer, spent in desiring and asking for God’s blessing, which cannot be grabbed or won through our own strength but must be received with humility from him as a gratuitous gift that ultimately allows us to recognize the Lord’s face. And when this happens, our entire reality changes; we receive a new name and God’s blessing.” -Pope Benedict, General Audience, 5/25/11
"You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing. I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside." -Flannery O'Connor, from her prayer journal.
The Lenten Spring Has Come!
The Light of Repentance!
O Brothers, let us cleanse ourselves from all evil,
Crying out to the Giver of Life
‘Glory to Thee, O Lover of Man!’