Thoughts for Lent, The Fourth Sunday in Lent


Ralph waldo Emerson, one of the chief spokesmen for naturalism, says: "Every landscape I behold, every friend I meet, every act I perform, every pain I suffer, leaves me a different man than they found me." We Christians go infinitely beyond such philosophers as Emerson. We say, not only that all these experiences leave us different than they found us, but that they have eternal consequences. All that we do or think or suffer in life not only makes or unmakes our character, but determines our destiny. Every prayer we say, or refuse to say, every good inspiration we accept or reject, every temptation we endure, all our successes and failures, our victories and defeats, are written with a "pen of iron and the point of a diamond" in the fiber of our souls, and on this written record we shall be judged.

On the day of judgment God will not ask, "What have you done?" but "What are you?" If we know what a man is, we know something infinitely more important. To do something is good advice. To be something is better. We shall be saved or lost not by accident, not by magic, not by force of circumstances, but by what, with God's grace, we have made of ourselves.

- Father James M Gillis

O dear brethren, anticipate the day of Judgment. Be beforehand with it. That day is coming as the rising of tomorrow's sun. The day is not far off when the Great White Throne will be set up, and we shall stand before Him; and the eyes that are as a flame of fire, will search us through and through; and not His eyes alone, but the eyes of all men will be upon us! and the ears of men will hear that which the accuser will say against us in that day. There will be no secrecy there; no hiding of our sins, nothing concealed from God, or from that multitude which is around the Great White Throne. What does He require of you now? The Great White Throne is veiled in His mercy. In the holy Sacrament of Penance He sits as the Judge, not arrayed in the splendors which will dazzle and blind us at the Last Day, but as the Good Shepherd, and as the Good Physician, the Friend of Sinners, who is come not to call the just, but sinners, to repentance. There He sits in His mercy. Come to Him then, one by one. Be beforehand with the Diay of Judgment. That which you confess now will be blotted out and forgiven in that day. That which you hide now will be in the book of God's remembrance, laid up for a record in the day of the great assize. It is not much that He requires of us - to come and tell it in the ear of one man in His stead- If it be painful to you, if shame cover your face, offer up the pain and the shame as a part of the penance, as Mary Magdalene in the midst of that great banquet. It is precisely for this purpose that the salutary pain may be the medicine of our pride. Dear brethren, then, be beforehand with the Day of Judgment, while the day of grace lasts; and come to Him as you are.

- Cardinal Henry Edward Manning

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me; we shall go to the house of the Lord, - Introit

O my beloved Saint Joseph! adopt me as thy child; take charge of my salvation; watch over me day and night; preserve me from occasions of sin; obtain for me purity of body and soul, and the spirit of prayer, through your intercession with Jesus. Grant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, and self-denial; obtain for me a burning love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet tender love for Mary, my Mother.

Saint Joseph, be with me in life, be with me in death, and obtain for me a favorable judgment from Jesus my merciful Saviour. Amen.

Keep smiling; its the very best remedy for gloom. The devil loves nothing better than a gloomy soul; it is his plaything. - Father Doyle, S.J.

- the texts are taken from -