Day38 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/9/09
St. Leo the Great: Sermon XXI (On the Feast of the Nativity I) : complete
Day 38Lite Version
St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries:5-9
Fr. Scott began his homily with the lyrics of a song by John Prine:
“There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin’ I suppose.”
The sorrowful words left you thinking, “What a waste!”
Then came the true story a dying soldier during the Viet Nam War, who, though not a Catholic, asked for the Church’s blessing from the priest by his side. When a man is close to death, and this is his desire, it is one the Church gladly honors. The soldier said to the priest, “Father, don’t let that oil go to waste.” The priest didn’t waste a drop as he anointed the man at death’s door.
Father Scott was saying that in life we make choices that bear on how we end. This particular morning, in the closing days of Lent, Father implored, “Don’t waste Lent! Let’s make it last our entire lives; until we breathe our last breath.”
I’ll be headed out the door in a few minutes to attend the Mass. It amazes me that year after year I have been given the grace to participate in daily mass. It is a great blessing especially since I am no saint. I’m slogging it out here below hoping one day that Jesus will call me and bid me come to Him that with angels and saints I might be with Him forever.
Sometimes at communion, I am overjoyed but most often my feelings are like those expressed by the Little Flower. Would that my response also be as hers.
What can I tell you, dear Mother, about my thanksgivings after Communion? There is no time when I taste less consolation. But this is what I should expect. I desire to receive Our Lord, not for my own satisfaction, but simply to give Him pleasure. I picture my soul as a piece of waste ground and beg Our Blessed Lady to take away my imperfections–which are as heaps of rubbish–and to build upon it a splendid tabernacle worthy of Heaven, and adorn it with her own adornments. Then I invite all the Angels and Saints to come and sing canticles of love, and it seems to me that Jesus is well pleased to see Himself received so grandly, and I share in His joy. But all this does not prevent distractions and drowsiness from troubling me, and not unfrequently I resolve to continue my thanksgiving throughout the day, since I made it so badly in choir. You see, dear Mother, that my way is not the way of fear; I can always make myself happy, and profit by my imperfections, and Our Lord Himself encourages me in this path.”