DAUGHTERS OF MARY
Women Renewing Faith and Family
Please join us 4 March 2014
FORGING A FEMININE FAITH: Preparing for Lent.
Prayer: Spiritual Formation in the Marian Tradition
Reflection: Gospel Insight for Contemporary Women
Renewal: Creating a Culture of Faith for Family, Church and Community
The Daughters of Mary Needs You!
ONE FAITH, ONE FAMILY CONFERENCE APRIL 4-5, 2014
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pray for Fr. Anthony Wieck, SJ who is now on a
30-day silent retreat with the Australia Tertianship Class of 2014
Children’s Memorial Mass—1st Sunday of Lent—March 9, 2014—5:30PM Mass
Fr. Dan Cambra—Monday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 25—7PM in the Church
Blessings in a Backpack collection—March 16
Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,
From ashes—to ashes!
Yes, on Wednesday we began Lent in the same way that we always do—a cross on the forehead, painted with ashes—a powerful symbol—and always a profoundly moving moment. In both gesture and word, this aged ritual offers a truth about human existence, an inescapable truth—we do live and we will die.
From ashes—to ashes. These words tell us our fate. But it
s what we do now, after Ash Wednesday
, during Lent, and in all our days following, which defines our faith.
Lent is itself a ritual that practices the life of faith—a life moved by faith in God.
Lent is the dash if you will—the dash of time between our birth and death, for in faith, we live for life eternal. In faith, we know that in our living and in our dying there is purpose—
In faith, we pray, God’s love will become our purpose.
Fr. Ronald Rolheiser tells the story of Cinderella: “Cinder is ashes and ella is from the Latin puella or girl — so that’s the little girl who sits in the ashes. It’s an old tale, about 6,000 years old. Already it’s a story of Lent — before you get to go to the ball and dance with the prince you have to sit in the ashes, in a certain kind of humiliation, and do some deep inner work.”
In Lent, we “sit in the ashes,” Rolheiser says, as though he speaks directly to us, and we do our part of the inner work. He tells us, “Lent is a season for each of us to sit in the ashes, to spend our time, like Cinderella, working and sitting among the cinders of the fire - grieving what we've done wrong, renouncing the dance, refraining from the banquet, refusing to do business as usual, waiting while some silent growth takes place within us, and simply being still so that the ashes can do their work in us.”
We pray to see our ashes—the deaths caused by our sins—and we do penance. Our sin, we are told, is our turning from God in selfishness. And yet, in faith, we know God’s love works. God gives us His grace, in and through Christ’s life and death, the work of His love, to turn us from selfishness to selflessness. And Christ’s life and death becomes our purpose in Lent and in life. Christ, who is the labor of God’s love, tells us that we are loved out of our sin.
So yes, from ashes—to ashes—it is a profoundly moving ritual!
And yet, life is our Lent—the dash of time—spent as loved sinners, as Cinderella’s who want to be saints.
Is it any wonder that more attend church services on Ash Wednesday than any other day of the year?
Let us pray.
Spiritual Direction of the Week
Pray and do penance—For you are a loved sinner!
Spiritual gift of the Week
Dear Lord, we ask for the grace to know we are sinners loved by God.
Holy Mary, Immaculate Conception, pray for us.
Gospel commentary / Matthew 4:1-11
1st Sunday of Lent March 29 2014
Insights by Daughters of Mary
Matthew gives his account of Jesus’ time in the wilderness, immediately after John baptizes him. Empowered and led by the Spirit, Jesus spends 4o days in solitude, without food, recalling owes forty days on Mt Zion (Exodus 34:28), and the forty days the Israelites spent wondering in the wilderness awaiting the Promised Land (Numbers14:34). Matthew expands Mark’s narrative, giving details of Jesus’ temptations by the devil. The scene is understood as preparation for Jesus’ ministry. It was most likely written for pastoral reasons, to help strengthen the life of faith of Matthew’s community. The temptation scene reflects the Hebrew Scriptures understanding of the ways in which we sin against God’s love. Each of the temptations represent the disordered human tendency to resist God. It reveals the strength of heart, mind and soul of Jesus, who was both human and divine. It reveals the nature of his mission and messiahship.
How can we, as Daughters of Mary, learn from the temptation scene. Pope Benedict once said something that responds to this question beautifully: “Lent is like a long "retreat" in which to re-enter oneself and listen to God's voice in order to overcome the temptations of the Evil One and to find the truth of our existence. It is a time, we may say, of spiritual "training" in order to live alongside Jesus not with pride and presumption but rather by using the weapons of faith: namely prayer, listening to the Word of God and penance.In this way we shall succeed in celebrating Easter in truth, ready to renew our baptismal promises” [Angelus, Feb. 21, 2010].
Meditation Music of the Week
(selected by Fran Schnadelbach)
Prepare the Way of the Lord: Instrumental Music for Advent and Lent by David Phillips
Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,
Pope Francis said:
“Lent is a time for sacrificing. Let us deny ourselves something everyday to help others.”
Preghiamo—Let us pray,
Daughters of Mary, Facilitator