“If you ever fear that your will should fall before the lower appetite, or other enemies that attempt to overcome it; if you perceive that your courage and determination are failing, hold your ground — do not retreat from the field. You must regard the victory as your own as long as you are not completely overcome. But, if at times temptations press you so hard that your will, almost overpowered, seems to lack sufficient strength to resist any longer, do not be disheartened, or throw down your arms. Defend yourself and cry out: “I shall never surrender to you! I shall not submit to you!” Act like a person who, struggling with a stubborn enemy and being unable to pierce him with the point, attacks him with the hilt of the sword….withdraw frequently into yourself. Recall your insignificance, your inability to accomplish anything. You will then place great confidence in the almighty power of God, so that you will be able, through His grace, to attack and conquer the passions that oppose you. Here you must implore: “My Lord, My God! Jesus! Mary! Do not abandon your soldier! Do not permit me to be conquered by this temptation!””
From a very good book that I haven’t picked up in twenty years:
Someone on Twitter suggested, for one’s daily Rosary, to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries and their fruits every day of Lent. I had never heard this before. Folks, let me just say, WOW, shockingly good results. Please try it.
- Agony in the Garden, fruit of the mystery: Sorrow for sin
- Scourging at the Pillar, fruit of the mystery: Purity
- Crowing with Thorns, fruit of the mystery: Moral Courage
- Carrying of the Cross, fruit of the mystery: Patience (first with yourself, then others)
- The Crucifixion, fruit of the mystery: Self-denial
If you identify at all with Carmelite spirituality (OCD flavor… St. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Little Flower) then I highly recommend Divine Intimacy from Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD. It’s a daily manual that follows the liturgical actions of each day of the year. If you are a Trad daily Mass goer, it fits like a glove. I’ve been doing it since Advent, not always great about it, but I like it a lot. Make sure you get a 1963 edition, that follows the 1962 calendar.
2 thoughts on “Pssst… How is your Lent going? A couple suggestions…”
Great post – thanks for the encouragement!
In light of the cringe “consecration” tomorrow, I read with interest the traditional calendar epistle today .
Jeremiah (twice, maybe three times) tells the Israelites God will only dwell with them if they follow exactly what He says.
The word that came to Jeremias from the Lord, saying: Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord, and proclaim there this word, and say: Hear ye the word of the Lord, all ye men of Juda, that enter in at these gates, to adore the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Make your ways and your doings good: and I will dwell with you in this place. Trust not in lying words, saying: The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, it is the temple of the Lord. For if you will order well your ways, and your doings: if you will execute judgment between a man and his neighbour, If you oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, and walk not after strange gods to your own hurt, I will dwell with you in this place: in the land, which I gave to your fathers from the beginning and for evermore.
Apparently they didn’t listen. A few verses later AND the Novus Ordo reading for today (which they picked for themselves instead of the traditional reading) is this:
Jeremiah 7 23-28
But this thing I commanded them, saying: Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people: and walk ye in all the way that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear: but walked in their own will, and in the perversity of their wicked heart: and went backward and not forward, From the day that their fathers came out of the land of Egypt, even to this day. And I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, from day to day, rising up early and sending. And they have not hearkened to me: nor inclined their ear: but have hardened their neck, and have done worse than their fathers. And thou shalt speak to them all these words, but they will not hearken to thee: and thou shalt call them, but they will not answer thee. And thou shalt say to them: This is a nation which hath not hearkened to the voice of the Lord their God, nor received instruction: faith is lost, and is taken away out of their mouth.”
Pretty amazing how appropriate the Novus Ordo self inflicted reading speaks very much to what is going down in Rome tomorrow.